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issue theme

SYMBOLS


Discover the best and the most beautiful from Czechia and the rest of Central Europe: exquisite design, inspirational stories, unknown interiors and hidden gems well worth your visit. Check us out on social media and follow us beyond the printed issue.

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Theme of the Issue: Symbols The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a symbol as “something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance”. Join us in exploring the symbols that surround us – from the Czech national flag to the language of the Deaf or the modern hashtag.

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Welcome

This issue is dedicated to symbols Many symbols are universal, like national flags. The Czech national flag celebrates its 100th anniversary next year, and here we have tried to map its somewhat complicated development. We talk about the infamous consonant Ř, an indisputable symbol of the Czech language, causing trouble for foreigners and natives alike. Ballet symbolises elegance as well as gruelling hard work: Filip Barankiewicz, artistic director of the Czech National Ballet, speaks with us about both of these aspects. The second interview in this issue is with Leoš Válka, director of DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, an independent contemporary Czech gallery. We also discover the symbolic meaning that hides behind the colour white in the works of Stanislav Kolíbal, as well as the blue façades in the Moroccan town of Chefchaouen, the Loket Castle meteorite, visual pollution in the streetscape, the costumes of the Greek ceremonial guard, and the Metro dessert. This issue shows you that symbols are literally on every corner.

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Contents

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Editorial Magazines + Marriages

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Interior When Cinema Becomes Life

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Utterly Czech Wagging Your Tongue

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Interview In Search of Beauty, Here and Now

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Trends Quietly Optimistic

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Fashion When Art Wakes Up

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Food Tale of the Marvellous Metro

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Gallery Franz Kafka Unrevealed

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Interview Art in Real Time and Real Space

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Decor Emblems of Today

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Essay Bettering Brno’s Streetscape

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Interior An Alluring Apartment

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Language Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

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Holiday Homes A Touch of Light Fashion Proud in Uniform

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Art Geometry of Emotion

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Once Upon a Time Home to Kings and Prisoners

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Design Perchance to Dream

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Sience The Mighty Flag

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Travel Kingdom of the Lost Lion

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photo: Martin Faltejsek dress: Tereza Konupčíková, Sonka Skerik

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Editorial

Magazines + Marriages In the previous editorial, I mentioned how enthusiastic we were about new things to come – and here they are! From this year onward, Soffa will no longer be alone. We’re proud to announce that following a brief courtship we have entered into a fruitful partnership with Mile, a new Czech magazine centred on weddings. Starting in March, Mile will be issued quarterly under the Soffa brand. This new lifestyle magazine features both Czech and foreign weddings, as well as the latest trends in parties and other social events. We promise you a lot of new and exciting stuff! Follow us on Instagram at @mile_magazin and see our website to find out more. To celebrate the new partnership, we also decided to give Soffa a little facelift. Róbert Kováč, our graphic designer, has changed the layout and adjusted the format. We’ve chosen a new kind of paper as well, and introduced two new sections: Culture Hat-trick and Once Upon a Time. The latter of the two highlights Czech castles. I am particularly happy about this because it brings back fond memories of childhood trips with my grandparents. My grandmother, a history teacher, always had a gripping story or legend to tell us about each castle we visited. She inspired my love of history and stories in general. I hope you will enjoy our tour of Czech castles as much as I’ve always done. Helena Stiessová, editor of the Utterly Czech section, was kind enough to leave the theme of the issue to me. In writing about the Ř, that odd Czech consonant, my degree in linguistics and phonetics finally found a use! I hope you will enjoy these latest issues of Soffa and Mile as much as we have enjoyed making them.

Adéla Lipár Kudrnová | Editor-in-Chief

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Navigace

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Interior

When Cinema Becomes Life Annicco is a tiny town in Lombardy, Italy, just 60 kilometres southeast of Milan – the global capital of design, fashion, and playful southern elegance. It is there that photographer Attilio Solzi and his wife Paola discovered their ideal home – a former industrial building which was once a textile mill and later a small cinema. No tickets are needed today to explore this domain of Italian extravagance, born out of a love for combining the uncommon. Enjoy the show!

text: Patrik Florián photos: Attilio Solzi

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When Cinema Becomes Life

Previous page: Interior furnishings favour the 1970s style, combining modern art with antiques collected over more than 25 years – such as the chandelier, a hospital floor lamp from the 1950s, and a bookcase that conceals the bedroom. This spread: White walls provide a striking contrast to the colourful artworks and accessories. The orange sofa is one of the owners’ favourite pieces, having once belonged to a family friend. Attilio and Paola had it restored and reupholstered and made it a main feature in the room.

A few years ago, Attilio and Paola Solzi were looking for a new homecum-studio, preferably in an unconventional space. At last they stumbled upon a former 19th-century textile mill in a small town near Milan that had been used as a cinema after World War II. After exploring all of its nooks and crannies, their initial thought was that rather than revamping it, the space would be better left as is. Despite having stood empty for decades, it was in relatively good shape and was still furnished with everything a cinema might need: a projection screen, rows of seats, signage, and posters advertising the latest films. For the people of Annicco, the cinema once served as an important cultural venue. Over the nearly five years that it took to restore the building, Attilio and Paola had frequent visitors. Neighbours would come to peek through the century-old factory windows to see what was being done with the place. The Solzis decided to preserve the building’s foundations, columns,

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The mobile candlestick is Attilio Solzi’s own creation. Every few months, Attilio swaps the accessories and artwork, continuously transforming the space in order to make sure it never gets boring. Left: The entire house is furnished with an eclectic mix of decorative objects – some by renowned artists, some by Attilio, and others purchased from antique shops or flea markets. A Nesso lamp by Artemide brightens up the green corner. The ball on the floor is by American artist Ryan Joseph McGinness.

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The owners have preserved some of the former cinema furnishings, such as the tip-up chair leaning against the lime-coloured wall that’s covered in Attilio’s own paintings and collages. Each original artefact has a special meaning for the artist. Left: Figures and toys by Frank Kozik, Stüssy Japan, and Dehara adorn the antique bureau. One of the compartments features some of Attilio’s risqué collages printed on iconic red cigarette boxes.

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Interior

balustrades, and some of the windows, and to carefully restore and refurbish the rest. The boiler room was converted into a kitchen, its red-painted walls radiating energy. The doors were removed from the former toilet cubicles and became a bathroom. A major challenge was rebuilding the auditorium to create an open space surrounded by tall bookcases that could also include a tiny bedroom. Skylights were installed on the roof, and the ceiling in the former projection room was removed and turned into a terrace covered in plants. Windows separate the main living area from the greenery outside, allowing natural light to enter and enabling people to see the projection screen from outdoors at night. Once the renovations were finished, Paola and Attilio invited all the townspeople to a grand opening. Visitors regaled the new owners with stories of their romantic post-war dates at Cinema Flora, as the place is still known. â–

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This spread: Attilio is both an avid art collector and an artist: the lamp displaying an ON sign is one of his own creations. The golden gnome statue is by German artist Ottmar HĂśrl, and the inflatable ice-cream-cone sculpture is by American painter and street artist Buff Monster.


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Řř Řř Řř


Utterly Czech

Wagging Your Tongue In this section we usually try to bring you something uniquely Czech – things, habits and customs typical for the Czech culture. Today we’re going to talk about something a little more abstract yet utterly unique – a consonant commonly written as “Ř”. The ability to pronounce the “Ř” properly is a near-certain way to distinguish native Czech speakers from foreigners.

text: Adéla Lipár Kudrnová

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Utterly Czech

Right: Practice makes perfect. This little list will provide you with plenty of practice material. *We have decided not to use the phonetic alphabet transcription of the “Ř” sound in this article.

Research has shown that proper pronunciation plays a key role in assessing a person’s language skills. No matter how good your grammar or how rich your vocabulary, your command of a language will still be perceived as poor by the natives if you can’t pronounce properly. Mastering correct pronunciation involves learning to articulate the vowels and consonants as well as sentence intonation and speech melody. Learners of Czech need to pay special attention to the consonant Ř* – a sound so difficult to create that even the natives, both children and adults, often need speech therapy to master it. A child should learn to pronounce the Ř by the age of 6 or 7. Since the sound is unique to the Czech language, phoneticists actually call the inability to pronounce it “rotacismus bohemicus”. There are other languages which use the grapheme “Ř”, like the Upper Sorbian and Silesian languages, but it denotes a slightly different sound than the Czech Ř. A similar sound can be found in Chinese and some South American dialects of Spanish. The Czech Ř is defined as a raised alveolar non-sonorant trill. To pronounce it, you need to raise the blade of the tongue to your palate, leaving the tip of the tongue free to vibrate (2 to 6 vibrations) against the front section of the alveolar ridge. The mouth is only slightly open, constricted at the alveolar ridge, vibrations are fast and small. The Ř in Czech can be either voiced or voiceless. It’s voiced if it comes at the beginning of the word, followed by a vowel (řeka), between two vowels (moře) or next to another voiced consonant (dřívko). Voiceless Ř is used if it comes next to another voiceless consonant (tři) or at the end of a word (keř). The pronunciation of Ř is most commonly compared to learning the trilled R, differing only in the number and intensity of tongue vibrations. The Czech trilled R usually requires 1 to 3 strong vibrations of the tongue against the front alveolar ridge. To pronounce the Ř, you need 2 to 6 smaller vibrations, constricting the air flow more than with the R. If that sounds complicated, try this: make a slight grin with your teeth closed. Hide your tongue behind your lower incisors and try to whisper the consonant R. With just the right frication, the tip of your tongue will lift up to your upper gums and vibrate a bit faster, forming the Ř. The best way to practice the Ř is to try one of the popular Czech tongue twisters: Tři sta třicet tři stříbrných stříkaček stříkalo přes tři sta třicet tři stříbrných střech. Say that a thousand times and you’ll have the Ř down pat. ■

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ŘA: řada, řádek, řasy, řádí, pořad, pořád, pořádkový, pořádek, vyřádí, vyřadí ŘE: řepa, řeka, řepánek, řekla, řekl, Řek, řekne, ředkvička, řečník, řeč, řezat, řemeslo, řemen, řemínek, bouře, hoře, hůře, kuře, koření, nahoře, oře, ořech, ořez, pařez, vaření, kouření DŘ: dřevo, dříví, dříme, dřímota, dříve, dřív, dřívko, dřevěný, dřevoryt, dřevorytec, dřez, dřevák, dřep, odře, odřený, Ondřej, Oldřich, podřízený, dřevník, modřín, modřinka, modřina, pudřenka, hadříček, hadřík, Jindřich HŘ: hříbě, hříbátko, hříbek, hřib, hřích, hřídel, hřiště, hřebec, hřeben, hřad, pohřeb, vyhřátý, ohřej KŘ: křídlo, křída, křeček, kříž, křik, křiček, křička, křivka, křivá, křížek, křižovatka, křesadlo, křeslo, křesílko, křemen,křemenáč, křepelka, křížovka, křeč, křáp, křápy, křoviny, křoví, křovák, křovíčko, křupky, nekřič, zakřič, okřikne, zakřikne,pookřeje, skříňka, skříň, výkřik, pokřik, křtiny PŘ: příboj, příbor, příchod, příkaz, přítel, příhoda, přihlásit, přijel, přijela, přijal, příloha, přímka, přímo, nepřímo, přihláška, příplatek, příprava, příště, přijímač, příjmení, příklady, přídavek, přišel, přízvuk, příroda, přece, přečetl, předek, přesto, přehlídka, přehrada, přehradní, přece, především, přání, přací, přátelství, přátelé, přezka, přezout se, přezůvky, přepona, přesouvat se TŘ: tři, tříska, třída, střída, tříletá, třicet, třista, třít, třepat, tření, třešeň, třetina, Třeboň, kmotře, třpyt, tetřev, větřík, bystře, třáseň, třesavka, třeba


Interview Navigace

In Search of Beauty, Here and Now As early as 1888, Czech audiences had the opportunity to view a portion of the as-yet unknown ballet Swan Lake in the presence of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky himself. In 2019, this most popular of classical ballets will premiere in Prague, in a version created by world-renowned choreographer John Cranko. Filip Barankiewicz, artistic director of the Czech National Ballet, talks to us about what makes this production so unique, why seeing a ballet can be a rewarding experience, and whether Prince Siegfried should be wearing blue jeans.

text: Helena Stiessová photos: Adéla Havelková article partner: Czech National Ballet

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Interview

I’ve always imagined a dance ensemble as a living organism, a collection of individual personalities. Is it difficult to manage such a group? It is certainly not easy. Dancers, like most artists, tend to be very self-centred, because our work requires us to become emotionally invested. But I am immensely grateful for what I do. Real art needs no words. But achieving that level of perfection requires tremendous effort. Some directors view their ensemble as a sort of family, and the dancers as their children. I don’t do that. I have my own family. I treat dancers like the adults they are. Not everyone is willing to take responsibility for their own improvement, but I keep telling them it’s necessary. I do whatever I can to help them but ultimately it’s up to them. They’re not dancing for me; they’re doing it for their audience, and for themselves. How well is the current ensemble working? Over the past year, I’ve seen the group grow and improve so much, thanks to our demanding repertoire. This has allowed the dancers to develop, both as artists and as people, and they deserve to feel proud of how far they’ve come. We have enough female dancers right now, so we didn’t audition any women this year, only men. Nearly 50 candidates were selected to audition; many of them had excellent qualifications, and it wasn’t easy to choose. I needed men who were tall – many of our ladies are quite tall and the pairs need to look good together. Sadly, the dancers who have been trained at Czech ballet school are not quite good enough. It’s a pity, I would really like for the Prague Conservatory to collaborate with us more. For a large ensemble like ours, having our pick of students would be a great advantage, and the students would feel motivated to work harder. You have chosen to work in Prague, of all places. Compared to the rest of the world, how would you rate the Czech National Ballet? You cannot make a straightforward comparison. Every theatre or ensemble has its own strategy and target audience. Here we have a large ensemble, so we can stage virtually anything. With a smaller ensemble, you pretty much have to stick to contemporary productions – you can’t perform a classical Swan Lake with 30 dancers. You could engage an additional 20 people from a ballet

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school, but if anyone gets hurt, it would mean a lot of hassle for the theatre. With 80 dancers, you can produce almost anything. How would you describe the Prague audience? Prague is a large metropolis, which makes me more inclined to put together an international repertoire. I would like to appeal to the locals by staging such productions as The Trial (after Kafka’s novel) or Solo for the Two of Us, but I also want to branch out. I find the audience in Prague very educated and receptive. There have been many neo-classical and contemporary ballet performances over the past 15 years. But it’s essential for dancers to perform classical ballet as well, as this allows them to hone their skills and talent. A dancer needs to master classical ballet in order to perform well in contemporary productions. There have been some classical productions in Prague, but not nearly enough. I would like to create world-class productions that people would actually fly in to see. Swan Lake, which premieres in March this year, will certainly draw a lot of interest, even more-so because you’ve managed to get permission to use John Cranko’s choreography. What makes it so special? We are the first large ensemble outside of Germany to be allowed to use Cranko’s choreography. John Cranko was a world-renowned choreographer, and virtually everyone is familiar with Swan Lake, even if they’ve never seen a ballet in their life. Cranko’s version of Swan Lake is very dramatic. I’m not going to tell you whether it ends well, but there’s a lot of drama. Cranko actually succeeded in making Prince Siegfried a human being. He tells stories through ballet, stories that are easy to understand even if you don’t know the plot beforehand. That is what made him so great. He pulls you in and makes you identify with the story. Swan Lake is a tragic tale of an unfortunate man, and is full of amazing contrasts. The first Act takes place outside the palace, where the prince is frolicking with peasants in the countryside. I don’t think any other version has ever involved a cheerful outdoor picnic. This provides a powerful contrast to the


Looking for Beauty, Here and Now

second and fourth Acts, which are both very dark. Another original idea is the use of Tchaikovsky’s music for the change of scene from the first to the second Act. Act 4 is truly breath-taking. We have included one of Tchaikovsky’s elegies, too, which is something no one has ever done. Prague has so far featured twelve different productions of Swan Lake, and I thought it deserved a thirteenth. It’s time to show the audience something different. I’m very much looking forward to it. You danced Prince Siegfried in the Stuttgart Ballet production. Does this bring back memories for you? Not really. I don’t want to foist my own vision on the dancers. I will of course share my experience with them, but this production is not about me. I need to respect the ensemble and base the performance around them. I am very fortunate to have worked with such great choreographers as John Neumeier, Hans van Manen, Jiří Kylián, and William Forsythe. That has provided me with a wealth of experience that I’m not going to keep to myself. I will gladly share my knowledge to improve the ensemble, but I don’t want to turn it into a carbon copy of the Stuttgart Ballet. Does working with someone else’s choreography leave any room for creativity? You have to hold to the choreographer’s vision. We have ballet masters to make sure that the production doesn’t stray from the author’s artistic intent. But every artist needs to make sure that his heart is in the role. Every prince, every swan, will be a little different. That’s what makes it so beautiful. Choreography provides a general concept but does not prescribe the dancers’ every move. Obviously you have to stay faithful to

the character you’re playing, but every dancer uses different means and emotions to achieve that. You need to get to know what drives them and work with that. This is why our job is so wonderful. What makes a good dancer? A good dancer needs to be able to share their emotions and personality with the audience. Passion is what makes a true artist. We once had a young man auditioning for us. He was extremely skilful but danced completely without emotion. I don’t care about the dancer’s nationality. I need to know what kind of person they are. That’s what makes ballet so difficult. You need athletic ability as well as a strong personality, and you always have to give your best. And when it comes to training, I don’t tolerate laziness. You’re going to use a completely new set and new costumes for Swan Lake. Will that change the performance in any way? Although John Cranko is no longer with us, we would never aim to change the choreography. If the directions call for an entrance here or a staircase there, it must be kept that way. Our stage-set will be very similar to Jürgen Rose’s original, but set designer Martin Černý and costume designer Josef Jelínek have had the opportunity to show their skill in creating new scenic elements appropriate for the time period. We are going to follow the classical tradition, so don’t expect Prince Siegfried to be wearing blue jeans, but all the costumes will be inventive. It’s fascinating to realise that Tchaikovsky first viewed his own creation here in Prague in 1888. After more than a century, posters for the production again appear all over town. The response has been incredible.

I would like to create world-class productions that people would actually fly in to see.

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Interview

We hardly had to do anything, promotion-wise. The poster is very simple – just the title in Czech and English, with John Cranko’s name underneath. Most of the performances have already sold out. I wanted to make sure that if the people in Prague wanted to see Swan Lake, they didn’t have to settle for a semi-professional production or a performance by one of the touring troupes; I wanted to offer them the best production of the highest quality. Would you recommend Swan Lake to someone who has never seen a ballet before? Definitely not. I realise that many young girls dream about being a ballerina like Odette, with a tiara and pointe shoes, but I would not recommend this ballet to someone who has never seen a ballet performance in their life. Swan Lake is more for connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Of our other productions, beginners would definitely enjoy The Taming of the Shrew (which has been performed in Prague), where the story is familiar and easy to understand, or La Fille mal gardée – a true masterpiece for viewers of all ages. Classical plays are often daringly reinterpreted for contemporary audiences. Is this the case in classical ballet as well? The classical ballet tradition goes back a little over two centuries, which makes it fairly young compared to theatre. Life is extremely fast-paced today. We hardly ever have time to just sit and let our thoughts run freely. That’s why I respect that when people go to see a classical ballet, they wish to know what to expect. Dance techniques have improved so much that we are able to stage classical productions better than ever before. Take La Bayadère, with Petipa’s choreography: I don’t think anyone could ever surpass that piece. We should maintain the tradition, as a legacy for future generations. What are the latest trends and developments in ballet? Contemporary ballet is always exploring new avenues. The human body knows no limits, but at the same time it remains very difficult to be a choreographer nowadays. We only have two legs and two feet, two arms and one head, and choreographically a lot has been achieved. But still, you can

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perform the same routine in a completely different way. If you put emotion into it, every single person has a chance to do it differently than another; dance is a living art and that’s what’s wonderful; this combination of emotion and beauty together with the soul of every single individual, in a one-time performance that cannot be repeated. There is no way to create this magic other than in a theatre. That’s also why I do not think you should watch ballet on the screen; it is something to experience live. This issue of Soffa focuses on symbols. For me, ballet symbolises beauty and gracefulness. Do you still feel the same, even after so many years of hard work? Absolutely! We try to achieve perfection over and over again. Dancers always check themselves in the mirror, striving for that beauty and elegance. True perfection is obviously unattainable, but we can at least aspire to it with all our might. When you watch a ballet performance, you should not be aware of how much hard work the dancers needed to put in to make it beautiful. What is ballet’s future as an art form? We have a hard time competing with the newest technologies; they seem to have pushed real people into the background. People no longer read books and think about the stories they tell. This gives theatre a great opportunity to assert its importance to the audience. I like productions that present something other than ordinary, everyday reality. People need to dream, and theatre allows you to do so. It can make you laugh or cry, and it should continue to do just that. ■

Swan Lake premieres at the National Theatre on 28 March 2019.


Filip Barankiewicz is a Polish dancer and ballet master, and a former principal dancer in the Stuttgart Ballet. He has been artistic director of the Czech National Ballet since the 2017/18 season.

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Trends

text: Adéla Lipár Kudrnová photos: Company Archives

Quietly Optimistic The new releases on this page will give you a clear idea of the colour palette for the upcoming year. Deep coral and honey brown – these are the tones of 2019. They look great on their own, and even better combined!

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Vibrant Coral

Pantone Colour of the Year 2019 is 16-1546 Living Coral. This energising hue is the essence of optimism and joy.

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1 · New furniture collection by Ferm Living, S/S 2019: Rico sofa and chair, and Podia Oval Coffee Table, www.fermliving.com, €3,415 and €1,700 and €685 | 2 · Hexagonal Containers by Jasper Morrison, www.vitra.com, €89 | 3 · Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, www.kitchenaid.com, €439 | 4 · Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Calypso Coral by Bobbi Brown, www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com, €32 | 5 · urBeats3 Earphones with lightning connector in Coral, www.apple.com, €65 | 6 · Tufted Wall Deco Rugs, www.fermliving.com, €269 each | 7 · Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chair Wire Base by Charles & Ray Eames, www.vitra.com, €540

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Quietly Optimistic

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Honey Brown

Dulux Colour of the Year 2019 is E4.22.49 Spiced Honey, a warm shade that is both calming and stimulating.

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Fashion

text: Patrik Florián | photos: Jiří Královec make-up: Veronika Benáčková | hair: Tereza Vávrová models: Aneta Chalupová / Scouteen and Adéla Julišová / Focus Model Management

When Art Wakes Up

Martin Kohout is a young Czech artist who likes to blend fashion with visual arts. At the last Prague Fashion Week, Kohout presented a collection named Les Nymphéas, inspired by Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series. As a photographer, painter and self-taught fashion designer, Kohout is fascinated with great artists, past and present. He tries to express his emotions through fabrics shaped into beautiful silhouettes. This photo shoot was created one cold winter morning in the sculptor’s studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, by talented photographer Jiří Královec. The dust-covered floor, the fragile grace of the models dressed in original outfits, with French chansons quietly playing in the background and snowflakes falling outside the window, have created a poetic ambience that has been brilliantly captured on film. Watch and dream!

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Food

Tale of the Marvellous Metro In May 1974, the first metro train set out on its initial run, contributing a new means of public transport to Prague’s existing tram and bus network. The first plans to build an underground transport system date back to the late 19th century, when a businessman called Ladislav Rott proposed taking advantage of the fact that parts of Prague Old Town were being excavated for sewer lines, by building an underground railway at the same time. Unfortunately, the plan was rejected, as was a second proposal in the 1930s. The Second World War intervened, interrupting any further efforts for a few more decades. However, in 1967, construction of the metro finally began. Such a significant milestone in the history of Prague transport deserves to be commemorated – and what better way to celebrate than with the appropriately named Metro dessert?

text: Hana Janišová photos: Róbert Kováč

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Recipe

Metro Dessert For the past 44 years, Metro cake has been produced at one particular bakery in the Prague district of Michle. The basic recipe and preparation process have remained the same since the beginning, even though the cake has been made in many different flavours over the years (orange, lemon, strawberry, coconut, cocoa, gingerbread, cinnamon, punch, peppermint). We hereby offer you the recipe for a ‘classical Metro’ – a sponge cake filled with rum-flavoured crème, coated in marzipan and embraced in dark chocolate. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C. Mix the egg yolks with both types of sugar to form a light mousse. Gently stir-in the sifted flour and then the beaten egg whites. Pour the mixture onto a cake tin and cover with baking paper. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Leave to cool and then cut into even block-like pieces. Whip the softened butter with the rum and both types of sugar until a froth forms. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool. Lightly sprinkle a pastry board with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan. Spread the chilled crème over the sliced squares and cover in marzipan. Dip the ends into the melted chocolate. Place on a cooling rack or baking paper and put in the fridge to cool. Leave the cake to sit for a day to allow the flavours to blend.

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For the pastry: 4 egg yolks 90 g castor sugar 1 packet vanilla-sugar 135 g pastry flour, sifted 4 egg whites, beaten into a stiff froth For the crème filling: 50 g butter, at room temperature 2 tablespoons Czech rum 45 g icing sugar 1 packet vanilla-sugar For the topping: Icing sugar, to sprinkle on the pastry board Marzipan Dark chocolate


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Food

It was Thursday, 9 May 1974, 9:19 am. Prague was celebrating the anniversary of the city’s liberation by the Red Army and the end of World War II, and for the first time ever, the notorious announcement sounded in a line-C train in the new Prague Metro: “Please finish exiting and boarding, the doors are now closing.” Accompanied by the cheers of children waving flags, Secretary General Gustáv Husák cut the ceremonial ribbon, boarded the Soviet -manufactured Ečs train, and travelled across the entire first segment of the line, which was 6.6 kilometres long at the time. Hlavní nádraží (Central Station) is where construction began in 1967, and is thus Prague’s oldest metro station. At that moment, the metro track still followed the original concept of a sub-surface tramway. As a result, the configuration here is different from most of the other stations. After that, at the behest of the Soviet advisers, the tramway concept was abandoned in favour of an independent metro system. This required modifying the route and length of the tracks. Nusle Bridge, then under construction, had to be reinforced so that metro trains could run along the underside of it; to achieve this, a loading test was performed on the bridge using 66 army tanks. Under political pressure, the originally planned, innovatively designed Tatra R1 trains had to be replaced by heavy steel Ečs trains built in the Soviet Union. The Opening of the metro system was a heavily politicised event. It had been built using Soviet machinery under the guidance of Soviet engineers and advisers; the trains were imported from the Soviet Union, and a number of stations were named and decorated to honour the USSR. This left no doubt as to Czechoslovakia’s political affiliation. To commemorate such an important milestone, a food research institute was commissioned to create a special sweet treat. The scientists chose a type of confectionery popular in the Netherlands, adapting the recipe to suit local taste preferences. This resulted in an original dessert with a relatively long shelf life. The metro trains each had four cars, so a package of Metro cake contained four pieces of the confectionery. This new dessert quickly became popular and is still sold today. ■

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Gallery

text: Hana Janišová | graphic art pieces: Sylva Pauli digital graphics: Kateřina Grejtáková translation of aphorisms: James Oczko

Franz Kafka Unrevealed

Sylva Pauli studied graphics and printmaking at the Salzburg Academy of Fine Arts, in courses led by Adriena Šimotová and Kunito Nagaoka. Professor Jindřich Vávra, a teacher at the School of Art in Prague, had a formative influence on Pauli. Her deep affinity to the works of Franz Kafka is reflected in her collagraphies, a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate. Here, Soffa brings you six of the works that were inspired by Franz Kafka’s aphorisms.

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Zimmer

Gallery

Jeder Mensch trägt ein Zimmer in sich. Diese Tatsache kann man sogar durch das Gehör nachprüfen. Wenn einer schnell geht und man hinhorcht, etwa in der Nacht wenn alles ringsherum still ist, so gehört man z.B. das Scheppern eines nicht genug befestigten Wandspiegels oder der Schirm. Every person carries a chamber within. This fact can even be verified by listening. If someone walks briskly and one listens, say when all around are sleeping, it is then that one hears the rattle of a mirror, imperfectly mounted, or of an umbrella. Franz Kafka, Oktavheft B, 1917

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Man lügt möglichst wenig, nur wenn man möglichst wenig lügt, nicht wenn man möglichst wenig Gelegenheit dazu hat. One tells, if possible, only a few lies, if one lies a little, but not if one has few opportunities to do so.

Lüge

Franz Kafka Unrevealed

Franz Kafka, Aphorismus 58

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Elle

Gallery

Der Weg ist unendlich, da ist nichts abzuziehen, nichts zuzugeben und doch hält doch jeder noch seine eigene kindliche Elle daran. „Gewiß auch diese Elle Wegs mußt Du noch gehn, es wird Dir nicht vergessen werden.“ The road is infinite, it cannot be subtracted from, and yet each applies his own childish yardstick to it. Surely, accordingly to this yardstick you must go much further, nothing will remain unaccounted for to you. Franz Kafka, Aphorismus 39a

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Unzerstรถrbares im Paradies

Franz Kafka Unrevealed

Wenn das, was im Paradies zerstรถrt worden sein soll, zerstรถrbar war, dann war es nicht entscheidend; war es aber unzerstรถrbar, dann leben wir in einem falschen Glauben. If that which was intended to be destroyed in Paradise was truly destructible, then it was not decisive; if however it was Indestructible, then we live in bad faith. Franz Kafka, Oktavhefte, 30. 12. 1917, Aphorismus 74

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Demut

Gallery

Die Demut gibt jedem, auch dem einsamen Verzweifelnden, das stärkste Verhältnis zum Mitmenschen undzwar sofort, allerdings nur bei völliger und dauernder Demut. Sie kann das deshalb, weil sie die wahre Gebetsprache ist, gleichzeitig Anbetung und feste Verbindung. Das Verhältnis zum Mitmenschen ist das Verhältnis des Gebets, das Verhältnis zu sich das Verhältnis des Strebens; aus den Gebet wird die Kraft für das Streben geholt. Humility gives everyone, even lonely and desparate one, the strongest relationship to one’s fellow man, immediately albeit only humility is entire and lasting. The reason is, humility is the very language of prayer as well as adoration and the tightest connection. The relationship to one’s fellow man is the same as the relationship of prayer, the relationship to oneself is the relationship of striving; we draw strength from prayer for our striving. Franz Kafka, Oktavhefte, 24. Februar 1918

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Interview Navigace

Art in Real Time and Real Space There are a number of private, independent art galleries in the Czech Republic – but there’s only one multipurpose space of an international standard presenting contemporary art. Established in 2008, DOX – Centre for Contemporary Art occupies a 6,000 square-metre former factory building in the Prague district of Holešovice, challenging visitors of all ages willing to step out of their comfort zone. Leoš Válka talks about managing a private art gallery, the transformations DOX has gone through since its inception, and how difficult it is to obtain funding and attract the attention of the public. text: Hana Janišová photos: Adéla Havelková

47


Interview

In January 2019, DOX celebrated 10 years of existence. What has changed since it opened? The changes have been very noticeable. First and foremost, we’ve altered our focus and scope of activity. Initially we focused exclusively on contemporary visual art – and by contemporary, I mean works created in the past few years. We presented ourselves as a Kunsthalle – a place that houses temporary exhibitions and projects, and that does not have its own art collection or archive. A few years in, we realised that simply showing contemporary art was not enough. We thought it would be far more interesting to integrate the other arts, such as theatre and literature, and this naturally required us to physically expand our premises. You are referring to the DOX+ multifunctional hall and the Gulliver Airship. There are many more people who read than go to art galleries. Literature is a vast universe of unimaginable depth. Visual art and literature have often inspired each other. Look at Paris in the 1920s: writers, painters, sculptors, and artists of all kinds interacted constantly, establishing lifelong friendships and inspiring one another. Over the past few decades, a gap has grown between literature and art, but we believe that mutual interaction can only be beneficial to both worlds. That was one of the reasons we built the Gulliver Airship in 2016. Like the hero in Jonathan Swift’s novel, it receives messages from another world. Last year, we opened DOX+, a multipurpose space designed by architect Petr Hájek. It can be used as a theatre, cinema, or conference auditorium. And it has its own rehearsal studio. The space is currently

48

occupied by the Farm in the Cave theatre company, which took up residence in spring 2018. How would you describe DOX’s overarching concept regarding exhibitions? We want to present exhibitions that contain some kind of message, that are interdisciplinary and incorporate literature or other arts, or that touch on contemporary social issues and phenomena. We don’t want art for art’s sake. We are a private, independent institution, so we’re free to decide what we want to show. One of our main goals is to support critical thinking. We aim to support unconventional, out-of-the-box ideas; different ways of looking at things. We would like to give our visitors a chance to challenge their own opinions, to have a real-life, real-time experience with real emotions. We want to provide a conscious contrast to the online, virtual world, with all its astonishing technologies and millions of different sounds and colours. Here you can experience things with your entire being – physical, mental, and spiritual. How do visitors respond to being forced to step out of their comfort zone? No matter how hard we try to delude ourselves, the truth is that very few people go to art galleries – a tiny fraction of the population. A lot more people go to the gym, for example. The current exhibition, Welcome to Hard Times, actually includes a gym. It’s a sort of social commentary on the fact that people are far more interested in cultivating their bodies than their minds and don’t care much about what goes on in the world around them. From those clearly defined, authorial exhibi-


Art in Real Time and Real Space

tions, we have since shifted to showing multi-layered projects that demand more from the visitor, such as The Soul of Money and Brave New World. The latter was met with great acclaim abroad: in 2015, Aesthetica magazine (UK) awarded it third place in its list of best exhibitions worldwide. Is there any way to describe and define contemporary art? It’s hard to find a clear definition today. Some of them are unbelievably cynical, like “art is whatever you can get away with” – but perhaps the cynical ones are more telling than those touted by academics. Often, artists are not endowed with that much creative ability – they merely establish a concept and then let someone else produce, promote, distribute, and sell the work. Art is usually more about good publicity and advertising than about its inherent quality. The absence of a concept can itself be a concept, or the concept can be something utterly banal. You can never be sure whether the artist is providing a commentary on the vacuity of the world or whether he’s pulling your leg. I think I’ve become a little cynical. I realise that art is now treated as a commodity, something you can put a price tag on and sell. Conceptual artists and minimalists originally thought their works could never

sell, and look how wrong they were. These days, you can sell practically anything – a performance recording, a historical piece, or a fetish. Can an enlightened curator help? Every shoe store seems to have a curator these days, and I’m only exaggerating a little. ‘Curatorship’ is a sort of a diagnosis. In the art world, curators carry quite a lot of power, which often makes them think they’re actually more important than the artists themselves. They think of artists as people who might be creative but are essentially clueless, and maybe even confused and unstable. That it’s the curator who can find the hidden depths within the artist’s work, the only person who can interpret it properly because he knows the context – this is a pervading attitude in the art world, and I’m becoming quite allergic to it because it’s astonishingly arrogant. There are curators who treat artists and their work with respect and who can truly add a meaningful interpretation to it, but they are few and far between. Are you saying that art today is no longer about the need to create but a competition for fame and success? People for whom making art is not a choice but an inherent, fundamental need that they’re

Contemporary art is more about good promotion than real quality.

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Page 47: “Visual art was initially about cultivating and uplifting the common people – but literature has a far greater power to improve. That’s why we built the Gulliver Airship; it is used primarily for literary projects,” says Leoš Válka, who designed the airship together with architect Martin Rajniš. Whether looking at the airship from the outside or stepping inside, you can’t really tell if it’s about to land or take off. It’s a semi-transparent, ambiguous space, which intends to throw visitors off their balance and take them into another world – perfectly embodying DOX’s philosophy.

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Art in Real Time and Real Space

willing to sacrifice their life for, are very rare today. There are too many distractions. Being locked up in a basement somewhere and working yourself to the bone does not sound particularly appealing to most people. Lots of Czech artists are convinced that Western Europe offers better opportunities to achieve success, but nothing could be further from the truth. Here, people often start selling their works while still in college. They start networking early-on and can actually make a living as artists. Competition is fiercer abroad. It’s common for young art-school graduates to work as waiters or bartenders or whatnot – and to end up doing it for decades. What people view as standard here is considered a brilliant artistic career in the West. How are Czech culture and Czech art doing today, in your opinion? Culture will take care of itself. People have always made art, even in the most appalling conditions. Unfortunately, the Czech government has yet to realise that supporting cultural endeavours is essential – something the rest of the Western world realised long ago. The Ministry of Culture is usually the last in line with a funding budget. Ministers tend to be politicians with no idea or understanding of what’s really important. All they ever do is praise the government for taking care of our cultural heritage. What’s it like to run an art gallery in these conditions? It’s hard, obviously. But I still believe it’s worth it. As I said, one of our goals is to get visitors to step

outside of their comfort zone, and to achieve this we devote considerable effort to creating educational programmes – for students from pre-school to university level, and for teachers – especially teachers of the social sciences. The art we show and the projects we put together help instructors to teach their subjects a little differently. We organise such a wide range of activities that we actually have a hard time getting funding from City Hall and the Ministry of Culture. In our 1,000 square-metre space, we hold 20 exhibitions a year and more than 300 public programmes, and yet receive the same support as a tiny gallery that has five exhibitions a year. Our annual expenses run into tens of millions, and public subsidies make up no more than 20 percent of our budget. Is it difficult to obtain funding? Immensely. We constantly contact potential sponsors and partners, but most people fail to realise how high our expenses are. It’s not cheap to run a gallery. Frankly, I was hoping for much greater interest and support at the outset, thinking that we would be in the black within three years, but that just hasn’t happened. We have a great reputation, both here and perhaps even more abroad, but it’s hard to make a living in the art world. Our scope of activity is quite unheard of, in Europe as well as internationally. We commissioned KPMG to make a financial analysis, and it turns out that we actually contribute some 20 million crowns to the Czech public budget annually. Which is nearly four times the amount we receive in subsidies.

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Interview

Turning the place into a residential complex would have been a solid business opportunity, but I decided to be an idealistic hero and build an art gallery.

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Do you ever regret sacrificing so much of your life for DOX? When I returned from Australia, I was just a struggling, small-scale developer. I saw this factory and thought it was an ideal place for an art gallery. Turning the place into a residential complex would have been a solid business opportunity, but I decided to be an idealistic hero and build an art gallery. Being able to do whatever you want is a privilege, even if you have to sacrifice a lot to do it. But it’s not as cutthroat and gruelling as other gallery owners often claim. Just very exhausting. But we love it anyway.

bookstores, and often read in the shop when I was too broke to buy a book. After I emigrated to Australia, I started a construction company working on high-rise buildings. I liked reading about heights and construction and things like that, and I enjoyed literature and the arts. I don’t think everyone has to have a college degree, but the more you know the better. Still, you don’t need a theoretical background to go to an art exhibition. It’s like music: the more trained your ear is, the more you can appreciate the sounds, but it’s not essential. Visual art is a world of its own, just like literature and music.

What was your path to becoming a gallery owner? I am entirely self-taught, having had no higher education at all. But I don’t see that as any particular limitation. Under the communist regime, I worked as a cleaner, a night watchman, and a boiler operator – the last one was actually a dream job, because I had plenty of time to read. These odd jobs provided me relative freedom. I was in touch with a several dissidents, such as literary scholar and structuralist Milan Jankovič. I was young and fresh-minded, and I realised that literature could open a window to the rest of the world. I spent hours every day in second-hand

For many people, contemporary art may seem kind of off-putting. What makes DOX different? Our exhibitions are not merely for art experts but for ordinary people – maybe even more for the latter. The art world should not be an exclusive, members-only club. ■


Decor

Emblems of Today A single symbol can say more than a thousand words. Deeper meanings can be found in works of art as well as in everyday objects – colours, animals, flowers, fruit, and countless other things. Symbols are as old as humankind. Some have long fallen into oblivion; others are easy to understand, even today. The modern world, being casually irreverent about traditional symbols, has created symbols of its own. Just look round: modern technology and today’s frantic pace of life have led to the creation of new symbols and imbued the old ones with new meanings.

text: Patrik Florián styling: Janka Murínová photos: Lina Németh

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Ether clutch bag (chain straps sold separately), www.deelive.cz | Don Giovanni Rectangular Porcelain Tray, Fornasetti, www.praguekabinet.com | Coaster, www.paradiseroad.lk | Large tray from Trays (set of 3) and Rotary Tray, Jasper Morrison; Miniature Bocca Sofa, based on the Bocca Sofa by Studio 65 (1970), both www.vitra.com


Serving plate in porcelain and Dark Place plate, Bisqit; Porcelain skull, Shit Happens; all www.qubus.cz | Leather-bound notebook, www.nila.cz | Scented candle, Byredo, www.ingredients-store.cz | Death: A Graveside Companion, Thames & Hudson | Design Letters message board, www.konsepti.cz


Graphic Boxes – Love, Alexander Girard; Wooden Doll Mother Fish & Child, Alexander Girard; Small tray from Trays (set of 3), Jasper Morrison; all www.vitra.com | Ceramic plate, www.butlers.cz | Birthday cake candlestick, www.flyingtiger.com | Cardboard flowers, www.qubus.cz


Tablecloth, Alexander Girard, www.vitra.com | Mirror, Jakub Berdych, www.qubus.cz | Playing Cards Box, Fornasetti, www.praguekabinet.com | Yellow and transparent soaps, Llev, www.deelive.cz | White soaps, Diptyque; Candle, Regime des Fleurs; all at www.ingredients-store.cz


Navigace

M re p

vm

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Essay

Bettering Brno’s Man rek Streetscape As a child of the visually opulent 1990s, no one would expect me to be a minimalist; but the years spent in art school have taught me that a simple, functional solution is always better. As a native of Brno, I was an ardent local patriot, proud of my city, its valuable urban architecture and quaint cafés. When I left to study in Belgium, little did I realise that the city of my youth would never look quite the same again. On returning several months later, standing outside Brno’s main train station and staring uncomprehendingly at the visual disaster before me, I realised that the Brno I remembered no longer existed, and that my memories had in fact deceived me.

pro

v měst

text: Veronika Rút Nováková illustrations: Jan Šrámek and Veronika Rút Nováková The text on pages 65–67, 69–70 is taken directly from Visual Advertising and Shop Signs in Central Brno – Best Practise Manual, published by the City of Brno, 2017

63


Essay

The city’s visual culture consists mainly of shops plastered with chaotic signage. There is no unifying concept, which pretty much symbolises the haphazard approach towards running a business that is so typical of this day and age. My memories of Brno’s rich urban architecture crumbled with the realisation that it was my own generation – and myself as a graphic designer – that has allowed our cultural heritage to be buried under so much dross. Like a caveman that has been handed a historical treasure but has no idea what to do with it so he destroys it. The current state of Brno’s signage does nothing for urban culture, business effectiveness, or visual communication. Had I chosen to spend my Erasmus year elsewhere, I might have remained blissfully ignorant, believing that loud, vulgar signage and advertising was simply an unavoidable part of city living. In Belgium, I became immersed in a different culture with another history and tradition, and I suddenly realised that it didn’t have to be this way. Thus began my obsession with visual pollution, retail design, and advertising effectiveness. I spent the rest of my stint in Belgium documenting the colours of local façades and shop design, and decided to make this the topic of my Master’s thesis. As a starting point, it was necessary to describe and identify the problem. I created an objective evaluation system, based on comments from various architects and designers, combined with my own observations. I then used this information to evaluate a busy street in the city centre. It turned out that the greatest problem was not the quantity of neon signs or loud colours, but the fact that most business owners were unable to communicate their message effectively. I will gladly admit that my own profession is largely to blame for that. A graphic designer should have enough insight and self-awareness to recommend other specialists, and should not accept assignments that are beyond their skill set. The result is both a waste of money and a demonstration of the business owner’s inability to invest in meaningful advertising or hire qualified specialists. The products of such an ill-advised collaboration are a sorry sight indeed. After completing my degree, I wrote to Brno City Hall, raising my concerns about the state of the city’s streets. The response was surprisingly receptive. I met with councilman Svatopluk Bartík, who was willing to take on the issue. He commissioned research into the current legislation, and together we explored various options and met with interested parties. This was not quite how I had envisioned my professional life after graduation, but the invasiveness of street advertising in my hometown only left me with two options: I could either take the easy way out and move abroad or I could stay there and try to do something about it. Thus began my efforts to create a general visual strategy for Central Brno. This has led to the regular cleaning of Central Station, a crackdown on illegal

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kud

ým

Bettering Brno’s Streetscape

Business Signage

Send a clear message, and no repetition

DESIGN PROVOZOVNY FIREMNÍ NÁPISY – ZÁSADY ÚSPĚŠNÉ KOMUNIKACE

BUFET TŘI VE PŘI

BUFET TŘI VE PŘI

BUFET TŘI VE PŘI BUFET TŘI VE PŘI

BUFET TŘI VE PŘI BUFET TŘI VE PŘI

T BUFE I E PŘ TŘI V

BUFET

T FE ŘI BU VE P I TŘ

TŘI VE PŘI

BU TŘI FET VE PŘI

Jasné sdělení bez opakování — Jedna provozovna by měla mít jeden firemní nápis nebo jednu kolmou výstrč (více viz pokyny pro VÝSTRČE na str. 40). — V případě, že jde o provozovnu, která zabírá nároží, je obvykle možné umístit firemní nápis z obou stran, na každé straně objektu pouze jednou. — Na podporu jasného a viditelného sdělení se řídíme zásadou méně je více. Zaměřte se na jednu věc, která skutečně zaujme pozornost. Nápis je také výraznější, když má kolem sebe prostor.

— Nápisy zbytečně neopakujte a neumísťujte současně nad výkladec, na sklo výkladce, na fasádu a pod římsu zakončující přízemí objektu. Více o členění přízemní části fasády (parteru) pojednává sekce UMÍSTĚNÍ na str. 29.

Vysvětlivky

MANUÁL DOBRÉ PRAXE | 26

have a single signboard or a single projecting sign. Pozitivní— A retail shop should eitherNegativní Označení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto Označení pro optimální řešení.If Pokud it’s a corner shop, it can have a signboard on each side. přístupům se raději vyhněte. půjdete touto cestou, vyhnete se problémům na úřadech a případným — Less is more: To make your message clear and visible, focus on a single element zdržením. that will attract people’s attention. The more space you leave around your sign, the more it stands out.

Negativní

Zkrácený slovníček pojmůOznačení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto

Národní památkový ústav v Brně

— Do not duplicate signs unnecessarily. Don’t put a sign above your shop window, on the shop window itself, on the façade, and below the windowsill. Národní památkový ústav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně, zkráceně NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně

Parter

Architektonicky vymezená část domu v přízemí, případně zasahující do prvního patra objektu.

Výkladec

Konstrukce se skleněnou výplní, která je buď předsazena před otvory parteru (předsazený výkladec) nebo do něj vsazena (okenní výkladec).

Výloha

Prostor za sklem výkladce, většinou určený k obchodní prezentaci.

Plastické členění fasády

Prvky fasády, které určují rytmus členění navržený architektem. Může jít např. o bohaté štukové dekorace i jednoduché geometrické linie.

přístupům se raději vyhněte. Odbor památkové péče Odbor památkové péče Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP, OPP MMB

ové péče Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP,grafika OPP MMB Řezaná

Označení grafiky ze samostatných jednotlivých částí, které netvoří jednolitou plochu. Zpravidla jde o vyřezaný nápis či ikonu.

kový ústav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně,slovníček zkráceně pojmů NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně Kompletní najdete na str. 104.

y vymezená část domu v přízemí, případně zasahující do prvního patra objektu.

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Essay

Projecting Signage One sign only

DESIGN PROVOZOVNY VÝSTRČE – ZÁSADY ÚSPĚŠNÉ KOMUNIKACE

Vysvětlivky — A shop front should only have one signboard or one projecting sign. Pouze jedno označení Negativní Pozitivní

— Ifmáthere is more than (and entrance) in a building, all of the projecting — Mějte na paměti, že firemní označení tvořit firemní nápis nebo výstrč.one shop — Různé přístupům se raději vyhněte.typy a velikosti výstrčí vytvářejí chaos. Neposkytují spravedlivý prostor půjdete touto cestou, vyhnete se — V případěproblémům více provozoven vstupů) jednoho domuaje nezbytné, pro každou provozovnu. Informace jsou hůře čitelné a snižuje se viditelnost na úřadech(více a případným signsv rámci must have unifying design concept, using the same material, method of zdržením. aby všechny výstrče měly jednotnou designovou koncepci, jednotné každé provozovny. mounting, and placement. This makes it easier for customers to find what they need. materiálové a technické provedení včetně způsobu uchycení a umístění. Slouží — Neumísťujte výstrče různých provozoven nad sebe. to ke snazší orientaci zákazníků. — Neinstalujte více než jednu výstrč k provozovně. Výjimka je možná v případě nárožního objektu, kde jedna provozovna zabírá celou plochu přízemí a je orientována do více ulic. Pak je výjimečně možné umístit dvě výstrče na obě strany parteru. — Projecting signs of various types and sizes create chaos and do not allocate equal Označení pro optimální řešení. Pokud

Označení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto

Negativní

Zkrácený slovníček pojmů

Výkladec

space to each shop and business. This reduces sign readability and shop visibility. MANUÁL DOBRÉ PRAXE | 42 — Do not place the projecting signs of two different shops on top of each other. The Národní památkový ústav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně, zkráceně NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně only possible exception is a corner building where the shop takes up the entire ground Architektonicky vymezená část domu v přízemí, případně zasahující do prvního patra objektu. different streets, invýkladec) which case there can be a shop sign on both sides. Konstrukce sefloor, skleněnou facing výplní, která je two buď předsazena před otvory parteru (předsazený nebo do něj vsazena (okenní výkladec).

Výloha

Prostor za sklem výkladce, většinou určený k obchodní prezentaci.

Plastické členění fasády

Prvky fasády, které určují rytmus členění navržený architektem. Může jít např. o bohaté štukové dekorace i jednoduché geometrické linie.

Označení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto Odbor památkové péče památkové péče Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP, OPP MMB přístupům se radějiOdbor vyhněte. Národní památkový ústav v Brně Parter

Řezaná grafika Označení grafiky ze samostatných jednotlivých částí, které netvoří jednolitou plochu. Zpravidla jde o vyřezaný nápis či ikonu. če Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP, OPP MMB Kompletní slovníček pojmů najdete na str. 104. stav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně, zkráceně NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně

zená část domu v přízemí, případně zasahující do prvního patra objektu.

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ou výplní, která je buď předsazena před otvory parteru (předsazený výkladec) nebo do něj vsazena (okenní výkladec).

adce, většinou určený k obchodní prezentaci.

MANUÁL DOBRÉ PRAXE | 9


Bettering Brno’s Streetscape

1

The 3-second rule

3

Find a good designer

5

Never stop promoting

7

Keep your sign clean

Passers-by do not have time to linger long enough to notice your store. Your signage needs to be simple and distinctive enough to catch the eye within the first three seconds. Do not use too many signs: less is always more. Choose only the most important message. A simple, original presentation will ensure your shop’s success. Use as few signs as possible; do not repeat your message unnecessarily.

A skilled designer or architect will have no trouble designing original signage for your premises that still respects the rules set by this manual and the applicable legislation. Choose a professional who can solve problems, not create them, and avoid complications in the approval process or even possible fines. A good designer will be able to suggest a solution tailored to your needs and means.

A shop window lets in natural light and creates a pleasant ambience. Do not block natural light by covering the window with decals and banners. If you need to use a safety grille, use one that is see-through. If you don’t cover your windows when the shop is closed, you can also attract attention to the shop outside of regular opening hours.

Remember to clean your shop windows, projecting sign, and signboard regularly so that your shop always looks good and attracts positive attention. Dirty windows attract vandals and give the impression that the store is abandoned or neglected.

2

Utilise your surroundings

4

You won’t save any money by cutting corners

6

Lighting is key

8

Engage all senses

Your shop will not be standing in the middle of nowhere. The surrounding architecture has a considerable impact on the overall effect. The premises you have rented are a part of the city’s cultural heritage. Make sure your signage reflects the style of its surroundings and helps maintain the charm of the street. Shop signs should only be placed on the ground-floor façade, never on the upper storeys.

If your shop does not make enough profit, another banner or neon sign will not help. Hire a professional designer to create a sustainable solution with a unifying concept. Low-quality solutions without a solid unifying concept will not work in the long-term and will require additional expenditure. Invest in a well thought-out signage concept and in quality, durable materials.

Choose lighting that is both energy-saving and of the right colour tone. The effect created by the lighting is just as important as that of the design. Ask a lighting designer to create an overall concept for your shop to better appeal to customers. Cool white light evokes luxury; warmer yellow tones create a homely, friendly ambience.

Designing your signage with respect to your surroundings doesn‘t mean you cannot stand out. A number of successful businesses manage to attract customers even without a standard shop sign. Think about your target customers, their needs and interests. Use scents or materials that people can touch.

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Essay

outdoor signage, and the creation of a Shop Signage Manual. We knew from the start that we would need some kind of document to outline our strategy, clarify the current legislation, and present our goals. Our original intent was to find a qualified urban architect for the job, but we soon realised that no one would be willing to enter into such a vaguely defined, vast and rigorous assignment. The City Council therefore hired me as a consultant to create the manual for them. I planned to write something short and concise, similar to the New York City guidelines, for example, but after a few months I realised that I would first need to define and describe the various types of signage involved, and would have to hire a photographer and an illustrator for those purposes. During the following year, I consulted 17 different specialists – architects, lawyers, historians, graphic designers, and the Department of Cultural Heritage & Conservation. After two and a half years, the manual has finally been completed, approved by the City Council, and made available to the public. However, it does not offer any quick or easy solutions. The manual isn’t a standard legislative document nor is it a fancy-looking PDF. Our main intention is to educate, so it describes all applicable legislation and contains straightforward, informative graphics. It’s extremely user-friendly and user-oriented, pointing business owners towards the institutions that grant signage permits. Standard documents issued by various authorities are no use to businesses. Brno does not need another run-of-the-mill document that no one will ever read. What’s required is a practical tool for solving problems in collaboration with business owners. Earlier I had designed a sign for a shop-owner in the city centre. He first had to find out where he needed to go to request a permit, and then that request was promptly rejected. The problem was that the department did not specify what was wrong with the design and which criteria the shop sign had to meet. Conversely, the Department of Cultural Heritage & Conservation kept complaining that people were sending requests for the approval of signage that had already been installed and that would need taking down if it didn’t meet the requirements. The manual has been written to prevent just such situations from occurring. The Department of Cultural Heritage & Conservation reports that 95 percent of applications are now completed properly and receive approval. Having collaborated on the manual, it has ensured that the methodology and approval criteria are clearly described therein, and further helps users by adding a concise overview of the applicable legislation. This manual also includes a crucial chapter meant to inspire its users by showing that even small, local shops can achieve good-quality signage and advertising. It’s not necessary to use expensive materials; effective design

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Bettering Brno’s Streetscape

Kiosk Signage Respect the original structure

GN DESIGN PROVOZOVNY PROVOZOVNY AČENÍ OZNAČENÍ KIOSKŮKIOSKŮ – ZÁSADY – ZÁSADY ÚSPĚŠNÉ ÚSPĚŠNÉ KOMUNIKACE KOMUNIKACE

PÁREK PÁREK ZDARMA ZDARMA JÍZDENKY JÍZDENKY NEMÁME!!! NEMÁME!!!

VYHRAJ VYHRAJ MILIÓN!!!! MILIÓN!!!!

spekt Respekt k původnímu k původnímu řešenířešení

— Kiosek jako—takový Kiosekmůže jako takový být architektonickým může být architektonickým klenotem, proto klenotem, je třebaproto dbát je třeba dbát na to, aby se jeho na to, unikátní aby se jeho tvarosloví unikátní neztrácelo tvarosloví pod neztrácelo vrstvou reklamy. pod vrstvou reklamy. Vysvětlivky — Kiosek může — Kiosek být buďmůže bez nápisu být buď nebo bez snápisu nápisem nebo s informacemi s nápisem s o informacemi zaměření o zaměření provozovny. provozovny.

— Není žádoucí — Není umísťovat žádoucí naumísťovat kiosek cedule, na kiosek které cedule, nejsou součástí které nejsou jehosoučástí jeh architektonického architektonického řešení. Příliš mnoho řešení. cedulí Příliš mnoho tříští architektonické cedulí tříští architektonické řešení objektu a vyvolává objektu dojem a vyvolává informačního dojem informačního chaosu. chaosu. — V případě, — že Vkiosek případě, disponuje že kiosek zabudovanou disponuje zabudovanou cedulí, je žádoucí, cedulí, aby je nebyla žádoucí, aby nově polepena nově fotografiemi polepena afotografiemi plnobarevnou a plnobarevnou grafikou. Takový grafikou. polepTakový působí polep — A street kiosk is often an architectural gem. Don’t bury itcharakter under a heappamátkové of adverlacině a narušuje lacině charakter a narušuje Městské památkové Městskérezervace. Jedinou rezervace. přijatelnou Jedinou Označení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto Označení pro optimální řešení. Pokud tising signs. formou formou je jednobarevné polepu je jednobarevné řešení z řezané řešení grafiky. z řezané grafiky. přístupům se raději vyhněte.polepu půjdete touto cestou, vyhnete se

Pozitivní

Negativní

— A kiosk can either be without a sign altogether, or have a single informative sign telling passers-by what it sells.

problémům na úřadech a případným zdržením.

MANUÁL DOBRÉ MANUÁL PRAXE DO|

Negativní— Do not place any additional signage on the kiosk that is not part of its original

Zkrácený slovníček pojmů

Výkladec

design. Too many signs destroy the original concept and create information chaos. — If a kiosk has an inbuilt signboard, do not cover it with new photos or full-colour Národní památkový ústav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně, zkráceně NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně graphic It případně lookszasahující cheap and destroys the historic cityscape. The only acceptable Architektonicky vymezená částsigns. domu v přízemí, do prvního patra objektu. is a monochrome sign. Konstrukce sesolution skleněnou výplní, která je buď předsazena před otvory parterulaser-cut (předsazený výkladec) nebo do něj vsazena (okenní výkladec).

Výloha

Prostor za sklem výkladce, většinou určený k obchodní prezentaci.

Plastické členění fasády

Prvky fasády, které určují rytmus členění navržený architektem. Může jít např. o bohaté štukové dekorace i jednoduché geometrické linie.

ud

Označení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto Odbor památkové péče památkové péče Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP, OPP MMB přístupům se radějiOdbor vyhněte.

m

Národní památkový ústav v Brně Parter

Řezaná grafika Označení grafiky ze samostatných jednotlivých částí, které netvoří jednolitou plochu. Zpravidla jde o vyřezaný nápis či ikonu. vé péče Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP, OPP MMB Kompletní slovníček pojmů najdete na str. 104. ový ústav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně, zkráceně NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně

vymezená část domu v přízemí, případně zasahující do prvního patra objektu.

leněnou výplní, která je buď předsazena před otvory parteru (předsazený výkladec) nebo do něj vsazena (okenní výkladec).

m výkladce, většinou určený k obchodní prezentaci.

MANUÁL DOBRÉ PRAXE | 9

69


Essay

Door & Window Decals 20% limit

DESIGN PROVOZOVNY POLEPY – ZÁSADY ÚSPĚŠNÉ KOMUNIKACE

ZA HORKA ČI V DEŠTI, CESTOVAT S HORALEM JE ŠTĚSTÍ

HORAL

ZA HORKA ČI V DEŠTI,

OUTDOOR

ZA HORKA ČI V DEŠTI,

CESTOVAT S HORALEM JE ŠTĚSTÍ

SLEVA!

CESTOVAT S HORALEM JE ŠTĚSTÍ

HORAL

OUTDOOR

SLEVA SLEVA SLEVA SLEVA

HORAL OR OUTDO SLEVA SLEVA SLEVA SLEVA

ZA HORKA ČI V DEŠTI,

CESTOVAT S HORALEM JE ŠTĚSTÍ

Plocha do 20 % Vysvětlivky

— Nezakrývejte skleněné plochy výkladce nebo dveří více než z 20 %. Polep musí — Není žádoucí vypnit okenní či dveřní otvor reklamním panelem. Je nepřijatelné být vždy instalován zevnitř skleněné plochy výkladce. umístit reklamní panel přímo za sklo výkladce. Je třeba zachovat odsazení — Pokud potřebujete ke své prezentaci prezentační panel, je třeba jej umístit od skleněné plochy výkladce a umístit jej ideálně do poloviny hloubky stěny v interiéru provozovny dostatečně od skleněné výkladce —odsazený Do not coverplochy more than 20 percentobjektu. of the shop window or door. The decal must (ideálně do poloviny hloubky ostění, nejméně však 15 cm od skla). Je — Polep nelze instalovat na okna, která nejsou architektonicky řešena jako Označení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto Označení pro optimální řešení. Pokud always be attached to the inside of the glass. žádoucí provedení přístupům se raději výkladec. vyhněte. půjdete toutoz perforovaného cestou, vyhnete se materiálu (screenová clona) do velikosti problémům na úřadech a případným maximálně 80 % plochy stavebního je zachovat hloubku vhledu banner, — install Plochu okenních výplní ve vyšších patrech domu nelze využít k at označení — otvoru. If youCílem need a presentation it inside the business premises, a sufzdržením. a podpořit vizuální charakter objektu. provozovny, není určena pro reklamní účely. Okna není povoleno celoplošně ficient distance from the display window (ideally, at half the depth of the wall) at polepit, a to ani z vnější, ani z vnitřní strany.

Pozitivní

Zkrácený slovníček pojmů

Negativní

MANUÁL DOBRÉ PRAXE | 52 a minimum distance of 15 centimetres from the pane of glass. Ideally, use a perforated screen taking up no more than 80 percent of the opening. The aim is to maintain the depth of view and enhance the building’s visual unity.

Odbor památkové péče

Odbor památkové péče Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP, OPP MMB

Národní památkový ústav v Brně

Národní památkový ústav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně, zkráceně NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně

Parter

Architektonicky vymezená část domu v přízemí, případně zasahující do prvního patra objektu.

Negativní— Promotional banners should not fill up the entire door or window. A banner

should never be installed directly behind the shop window. You need to maintain the required distance, ideally half of the depth of the wall. should neverMůže bejít installed on windows that linie. are not designed specifically Plastické členění fasády Prvky fasády,— kteréDecals určují rytmus členění navržený architektem. např. o bohaté štukové dekorace i jednoduché geometrické Řezaná grafika Označení grafiky ze samostatných jednotlivých částí, které netvoří jednolitou plochu. Zpravidla jde o vyřezaný nápis či ikonu. as shop windows. Kompletní slovníček pojmů najdete na str. 104. — Upper-storey windows should never be used for promotional purposes. Full-cover window decals are not allowed outside or inside the pane of glass. Výkladec

Označení pro nežádoucí řešení. Těmto Konstrukce se skleněnou výplní, která je buď předsazena před otvory parteru (předsazený výkladec) nebo do něj vsazena (okenní výkladec). přístupům se raději vyhněte.

Výloha

Prostor za sklem výkladce, většinou určený k obchodní prezentaci.

e Magistrátu města Brna, zkráceně OPP, OPP MMB

stav, územní odborné pracoviště v Brně, zkráceně NPÚ, ÚOP v Brně

zená část domu v přízemí, případně zasahující do prvního patra objektu.

ou výplní, která je buď předsazena před otvory parteru (předsazený výkladec) nebo do něj vsazena (okenní výkladec).

adce, většinou určený k obchodní prezentaci.

70

čují rytmus členění navržený architektem. Může jít např. o bohaté štukové dekorace i jednoduché geometrické linie.

mostatných jednotlivých částí, které netvoří jednolitou plochu. Zpravidla jde o vyřezaný nápis či ikonu.

MANUÁL DOBRÉ PRAXE | 9


Bettering Brno’s Streetscape

does not have to be costly. I also added a chapter taken directly from my Master’s thesis, showing users how to create a good design brief and how to identify a good designer. There is still a lot to be done to raise awareness. I often meet business owners who claim to know what they need, but it only takes a single meeting for them to realise that they actually need something completely different. What’s more, they see that they’ve already spent a lot of money on something that doesn’t work, simply because the designer, architect, or manufacturer forfeited a professional attitude, good craftsmanship, responsibility for the environment, and simple humanity for a chance to make a quick profit. The manual provides a set of guidelines that is easy to follow, without the user needing to have experience or knowledge in the field of signage design. It might have a fundamental impact on the current discourse regarding signage and eliminate such subjective criteria as ‘personal taste’ and ‘like/dislike’, so popular with journalists and the general public these days, but absolutely unhelpful. Instead of naive, emotional statements, we try to work with rationally defined standards that can be readily accepted or subjected to constructive criticism. Obviously, the manual is not the be-all and end-all of our efforts regarding city signage. We don’t expect the cityscape to change overnight. Changes need to happen naturally and gradually. After the manual was completed, I became aware that although the City administration had done its part in finding a solution, true change would have to come at ‘street level’. That’s why I decided to start a blog dedicated to fighting visual pollution: retailoko.cz. It offers a gallery of interesting signage solutions, both in Czechia and abroad, and also posts interviews with business owners, as well as occasional street tours and other events. In collaboration with the Moravian Gallery in Brno, I have created a retail-design educational trail, presenting selected solutions with interesting background stories. I’m no longer as critical of visual pollution as I used to be; my attitude has shifted instead to an obsessive desire to find the best solutions. Every time I set out to explore Brno’s streets, I hope to discover the most original neon sign in town. It’s not the logo of the city or its current political leadership that defines Brno’s identity, it is well-designed premises. The potential exists to transform entire streets or districts that possess a clear vision. I would never have believed that an Erasmus fellowship would transform my perception of my hometown and my own identity so dramatically, and that so early-on in my career I would come across such a formative issue that both challenges and grounds me. ■

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Home is a symbol of the things we love; a collection of timeless, quality pieces that bring us joy. At Arki, we have put together a selection of the finest accessories for your home: from kitchenware to books and toys. We would like to inspire you to choose only the best pieces, down to the last detail.


That’s what #arki_everyday is about | www.arki.cz


Interior

An Alluring Apartment For Biljana Lazović, interior designer and owner of DreamHouse textile&wallpaper agency and Unlocked Interior Art&Design, the light and airy waterfront apartment in Prague’s Old Town was an ideal assignment. An art and antiques connoisseur, the client enjoys experimentation and a touch of the provocative. Lazović decided that the apartment should reflect his vibrant personality. Time and money were of no concern, which allowed her to employ a great deal of decorative alchemy – designing the interior to both her and the owner’s delight.

text: Adéla Lipár Kudrnová photos: Jean-Claude Etegnot

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Interior

Previous page: A beige sofa by Edra dominates the living room. Works by contemporary Czech artists (Waterproof, Maxim Velčovský; Hände Hoch!, Jakub Berdych, both from Qubus) provide a daring contrast to the antique chest of drawers. Above: Even the bathroom deserves a statement light fixture – in this case, a Smoke chandelier from Moooi. The curtains are by Pierre Frey. Right: Dark timber panelling is one of the apartment’s defining features. Art is everywhere – even next to the bathroom entrance. The chair is from Le Patio.

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An Alluring Apartment

Left: A large desk, customdesigned by Lazović, is the centrepiece of the owner’s home-office. The ubiquitous panelling is complemented by Ralph Lauren wallpaper in light tones.

For every interior designer, a dream client is one who trusts you, has good taste, is not afraid of creative solutions, and has sufficient funds for you to work with. When designing the vast waterfront apartment for her client, Biljana Lazović had all this and more: over the course of the yearlong refurbishment, she and the owner became good friends. “I need to get to know my client, sort of tune in to them, so that I can design the interior to express their personality,” explains Lazović, whose professional motto is “Art in your home and art your life”. The client, an avid collector of antiques and artwork, bought this 180-square-metre apartment for his occasional stays in Prague. The layout includes a large living area, master bedroom, bathroom with walk-in wardrobe, home-office, and guest room. By the time the designer stepped in, the refurbishment was complete, including the timber panelling, floors, kitchen, bathroom, and builtin wardrobes – all of which are distinctly modern in style, despite the historical context. Lazović felt that the apartment lacked character. “I asked the client to choose pieces from his art collection that he’d like to have here,” explains the designer. “After that, we visited various antique shops and found a few key pieces that would help to define the interior. Each of these exudes positive emotions. I was very flattered by the trust the client had placed in me: I was able to select some of the art and furniture without his input.” With an almost childlike joy, Lazović threw herself into creating a space filled with artworks that doesn’t feel like a museum of dead things. Many of her solutions are downright playful, including skirting boards made of old picture frames, wall paintings, and patterned fabrics. Prominent space has been given to contemporary Czech art, especially the works of Jakub Berdych: Lazović chose these for their rebellious style, sometimes bordering on the provocative. Combined with the numerous antiques, Berdych’s daring pieces lend the apartment a distinct dynamic. “This has been one of my favourite projects,” Lazović enthuses, “also because I decided to work a little differently than usual. Sometimes I felt like an alchemist in her lab, choosing the best ingredients to concoct an ideal interior. I’m especially happy that we managed to bring in the antique column and the angel statue, considering they both weigh some 400 kilos,” she adds with a smile. ■

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An Alluring Apartment

Left: The guest room features a large sofa, also custom-designed by Lazović, and a white dresser by Roche Bobois. An original wall-painting decorates the corner of the room. Above: The chaise longue in the living room is yet another of Lazović’s creations. Along with the bench, its timeless, angular shape provides an interesting counterpoint to the angel statue in the corner and to the rounded form of the Elements 007 Side Table by Jaime Hayon for Moooi.

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The timber panelling covering many of the walls provides the perfect backdrop for a private picture gallery. An antique settee has been reupholstered in fabric from the Designers Guild’s Royal Collection. The side table next to the Edra sofa is from Le Patio. Lazović chose to wrap the black cables of the Designheure chandelier in white fabric.

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The bedroom features an antique stone column and an original wall-painting. The settee is upholstered in fabric by Élitis.

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Language

Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil A fair few of us can speak at least one foreign language. Some people know two, three, or maybe five languages, but even the most linguistically challenged amongst us can speak at least one – their mother tongue. Language is a system that allows us to grasp the world around us, a code through which we communicate and share information with one another. Yet there are those of us who cannot use their voice and ears to do so, which is why sign language has developed. Sign language allows the speaker to grasp the world through hand gestures, pictorial and spatial symbols. The first School for the Deaf was established in Paris as early as 1770, and many others soon followed. A century later, however, the participants at a conference held in Milan reached the conclusion that it would be better for the Deaf to learn to speak as if they could hear. Deaf children were forced to articulate words, and the use of sign language was being frowned upon or absolutely forbidden. Only in the modern era has this damaging approach been amended.

text: Helena Stiessová | photos: Adéla Havelková model: Jakub Venglář | interpreter: Vendula Šantrůčková article partner: Association of Organisations for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, and their Supporters

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Language

Beauty Krรกsa

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Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Find out more about the Association of Organisations for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing: www.asnep.cz International Sign Language Czech Sign Language

Jakub, our model, was born deaf to hearing parents. He learned his first language – Czech Sign Language – not from his mother but in a nursery school specialised in working with the Deaf. For a hearing person, it is hard to imagine that for Jakub, Czech is actually his second language – this is one of many paradoxes in a deaf person’s life. Sign language is not simply the spoken language converted into gestures, but rather a completely independent communication system. There was no way for Jakub to hear spoken Czech and to absorb the vocabulary or grammar; that came much later, when he started primary school. The spoken language hasn’t any real meaning for the Deaf; they are only able to learn its written form, which makes mastering it even harder – but not learning the native language at all isn’t an option if you don’t want to end up a foreigner in your own country. For the Deaf [the uppercase D is the way deaf people refer to themselves, as a community with its own language and culture], sign language is their primary, natural means of communication, based not on sounds but on hand, arm, mouth, and torso motions. There is no universal sign language – as with spoken languages, there are many national varieties, each with its local dialects and even idiolects (personal variations based on being left- or right-handed, for example). Apart from this, there’s also an International Sign – a pidgin sign language used mostly at international events. There are about 5,000 sign language-users in Czechia, which includes deaf people, people with hearing loss, and hearing people. It is extremely hard for a hearing person to learn sign language (not that it’s a piece of cake for deaf people either) and few will attempt it without good reason. Having no means of mutual communication, the deaf minority tends to become isolated from the hearing majority. And lip-reading is more a myth than a reality – it’s ridiculously difficult to learn this, and since many sounds are actually made inside the mouth and not formed by the lips it remains a guessing-game anyway, for the most part. Conversing on paper is slow and may be impeded by the deaf person’s limited vocabulary. Thankfully, society’s attitude toward the deaf community has changed significantly. Modern technology helps the Deaf communicate better – you can now order a sign language interpreter online, which makes day-to-day interactions much easier. Increasingly, theatres and film festivals offer performances and screenings interpreted into sign language. When travelling abroad, knowing a few basic phrases in the local language is considered common courtesy. Why not try the same with sign language? Thanks to Jakub, you can now learn a few basic Czech and International Sign Language symbols. ■

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Language

Thank you Děkuju

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Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

I love you Miluju tÄ›

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No Ne

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Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Excuse me PromiĹˆte

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Hello DobrĂ˝ den

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Yes Ano


Holiday Homes

A Touch of Light If your inner zen compass is urging you to identify a quiet, out-of-the-way place in which to rest and recuperate, try Blokki v Zátiší. This container-house, an hour’s drive from Prague, provides a haven of Scandinavian flavoured peacefulness and simplicity. You can rent the premises for a weekend or even longer. Delight in the décor by top design brands such as Muuto, Hay, and Stelton, and immerse yourself in the peace and comfort on offer.

text: Adéla Lipár Kudrnová | photos: Adéla Havelková styling: Janka Murínová and Alice Titzová

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Previous spread: Eclectic Caramel Cushion by Hay, www.stockist.cz | Waffle Throw by Cozy living, www.stockist.cz | Sawaru Lighting by Flos, www.konsepti.cz Right: E27 Pendant Lamp by Muuto, www.stockist.cz | Wall Clock, www.bonami.cz

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Cushion Bottle by Hay, www.stockist.cz | Classic Trays Dot Pattern Reverse Dark by Charles & Ray Eames, www.vitra.com | Wire Plant Pot by NORM Architects for Menu, www.konsepti.com Book your chosen dates at www.facebook.com/BlokkivZatisi 98


www.terezaotahalikova.com


Fashion

Proud in Uniform Few outfits contain such a wealth of meaning and symbolism as State uniforms. Strict rules governing the choice of style, colour, and accessories are meant to represent the country’s values and traditions and to inspire the men and women serving their country. Illustrator Tereza Otáhalíková depicts some of the more interesting uniforms being worn by soldiers guarding castle battlements and country borders as well as protecting kings and spiritual leaders.

text: Patrik Florián illustrations: Tereza Otáhalíková

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South Korea


Proud in Uniform

Royal Guard, South Korea

The Evzones, Greece When the Greek army was first assembled in the early 19th century, it also incorporated mountain-guard battalions to protect the country’s borders. The Evzones were famous for being the bravest and strongest of the Greek soldiers, distinguishing themselves in the Balkan Wars. After World War II, however, they became a solely ceremonial unit that stands guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and at the Presidential Palace, and raise and lower the flag at the Acropolis every Sunday. Their formal uniform includes a white silk shirt with wide sleeves, a hand-embroidered waistcoat that indicates the soldier’s rank, a white pleated skirt, known as a fustanella, decorated with a fringe of blue and white braids (the 400 pleats represent the liberation of Greece from the years of Ottoman occupation and the fringe relates to the colours of the flag), a belt, two pairs of cream-coloured woollen stockings, red clogs that weigh nearly three kilograms, and a red cap bearing the Greek coat-of-arms and featuring a very long black tassel. The regular-duty uniform consists of a tunic, khaki (Cretan) in summer and blue (Macedonian) in winter. The Evzones are elite members of the Hellenic Army infantry, who have to meet specific physical and mental criteria, as well as a minimum height requirement of 1.87 metres. Evzones serve on a voluntary basis, but the position is highly prestigious.

The contingent attached to Gyeongbokgung Palace, built in Seoul in 1395 by the Joseon Dynasty, now serves a purely ceremonial function. Gyeongbokgung used to be the largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the dynasty over its five centuries of rule. In 1910, when Japan invaded Korea and dethroned the current emperor, the Royal Guard was disbanded. The palace suffered considerable damage during the Imjin War and the Japanese occupation. It primarily functions as a museum, and is currently being restored. In 1996, the Changing of the Guard ceremony was reinstated and instantly became one of Seoul’s most popular attractions. The Guards, with their colourful uniforms and hats adorned with feathers, sporting a wide assortment of weapons, remind visitors of Korea’s rich history. Accompanied by music, the ceremony takes place every day. Tourists are also offered the opportunity to try on the Guards’ costumes.

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Fashion

King’s Guard, Norway Nicknamed ‘the black devils’, both for their legendary bravery and their dark attire, the Hans Majestet Kongens Garde have worn the same uniform almost since the beginning. Fairly minimalist in style, it includes navy blue trousers with two white side-stripes, a navy blue jacket with burgundy trim, and emerald-green epaulettes with a braided fringe. Commanders wear an insignia representing their rank and a wide burgundy belt. However, the most interesting member of the King’s Guard does not wear a uniform at all; in fact, he doesn’t wear any clothing whatsoever. That’s because the regiment’s official mascot is a king penguin named Nils Olav that hails from Edinburgh Zoo. The tradition of the penguin mascot dates back to the famous Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, who donated a penguin to the Edinburgh Zoo when it first opened. The penguin mascot was then adopted by the Norwegian King’s Guard during its participation in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 1961, and has since been considered a regular member of the Guard. The current penguin, Brigadier Sir Nils Olav III, was promoted to Colonel-in-Chief in 2016. As for the qualifications needed for a penguin to become a Guard member, we are not exactly sure…

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Pontifical Swiss Guard, Vatican City The uniforms worn by the smallest and oldest official army in the world date back to the 16th century. Initially these were yellow and blue – the colours of Pope Julius II, who first hired Swiss mercenaries for his protection. His successor, Leo X, added the colour red to represent the Medici coat-of-arms. The current version of the uniform, inspired by the frescoes of Raphael, was created by Jules Répond in 1914. For normal events, the guards wear a black beret, white collar and white gloves. On ceremonial occasions, the uniform includes a white pleated ruff and a helmet inscribed with Julius II’s coat-of-arms, topped with a flourish of ostrich feathers – their colour denoting the guard’s rank. Recently, those metal helmets were replaced by 3D-printed ones made of UV-resistant PVC, which are lighter in weight and stay cool. A breastplate features in the formal version of the uniform. There’s also a more modern, regular-duty costume, which is solid blue with a wide white collar. Some components of the Swiss Guard’s uniform are made in the Moravian town of Třešť. Recruits to the Guard must be male, unmarried, Swiss Roman Catholic, between 19 and 30 years of age, and at least 1.74 metres tall. Guard membership is often passed down through the family.


Czech Republic


Fashion

Castle Guard, Czech Republic After the establishment of Czechoslovakia as an independent country, the role of the ceremonial Castle Guard was entrusted to members of the Sokol Movement, a Czech gymnastics organisation founded in 1862. In December 1918, an infantry affiliated with the 28th Prague Infantry Regiment was established at Prague Castle to provide military protection. This consisted mostly of legionnaires who had fought in France, Italy, and Russia and who still donned their original uniforms. In the 1930s, the Castle Guard was fitted with ordinary military uniforms. Under the Communist regime, the uniforms were standard but had golden buttons. A major turnaround happened once Václav Havel became president in 1990, as costume designer Theodor Pištěk was asked to create new uniforms for the Castle Guard, and these have remained more-orless the same to the present day. A dark blue coat or jacket is paired with grey trousers or a grey skirt (women), while the service cap is inspired by those of the U.S. Air Force. VZ 52/57 semi-automatic rifles from the 1950s complete the attire. Members of the Castle Guard Band wear red and white uniforms, which are much more cheery. The Castle Guard comprises of 715 personnel who have had to meet strict criteria in order to qualify: they are between 1.78 and 1.88 metres tall, without facial hair or cosmetic defects, and have no tattoos or piercings.

Border Guards, India and Pakistan Ever since 1959, the village of Wagah, the key border crossing between India and Pakistan, has accommodated a military drill that includes the lowering of the flag of each of the two nations, along with an assortment of shouting, high leg-kicks, and other dancelike manoeuvres. Members of the Indian Border Security Force, in their beige uniforms with redand-yellow accessories and their white knee-high socks, march against Pakistan Rangers dressed in black uniforms with red details. Both sides wear tall, fanned hats which, quite aptly, have the appearance of coxcombs. The soldiers themselves look a lot like posturing roosters. As soon as the sun sets and the flags are taken down, the soldiers briskly shake hands and the gates close. If the entire undertaking seems slightly grotesque, it is worth remembering that the border zone is still highly militarised and relations between the two countries remain tense. Soldiers chosen for the ceremony have to meet severe beard and moustache requirements. If you’d like to explore the world of uniforms even further, we recommend researching these: Queen’s Grenadier Guards (Great Britain), Circassian Royal Guard (Jordan), and the long-lost women warriors of Dahomey (West Africa). ■

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Refreshment

Sparkling Lightness This straw-coloured wine shimmers and fizzes as it fills the glass, leaving a rich and creamy froth on top. Notes of green apple, lemon and lychee can be found in the fresh, slightly mineral or even mildly salty flavour. You’ve just tasted Prosecco, an Italian white wine that is slowly but surely becoming popular all over the world.

text: Hana Janišová photos: Company Archive article partner: Prosekárna

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Prosecco is made from an ancient grape variety called Glera, originally grown in Slovenia. In 2009 a new regulation limited the use of the name Prosecco to indicate a geographical location rather than a grape. And just as champagne must come from the Champagne region, prosecco is linked solely to vineyards in two parts of Northern Italy: Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The best prosecco is traditionally from the Cartizze Valley – a vineyard of 107 hectares on a steep hill composed of hard bedrock and rocky soil. The grapes ripen slowly, lending this wine a full, balanced, harmonious taste. The prosecco created from Cartizze’s grapes is the ‘Grand Cru’ of the family, labelled Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze DOCG. Prosecco’s popularity has grown markedly in recent years. Between 2014 and 2016, production increased by 45 percent, three quarters of that volume being exported to the UK and the US. Last year, an astronomical 500 million bottles were produced (as a comparison: annual production of champagne is 320 million). Wine growers strive to meet the increased demand worldwide. We hope they can keep up! Prosecco is a light, refreshing drink that lifts your spirits without giving you too much of a hangover the next day. Cheers! In Czechia, prosecco is sold and distributed by Prosekárna, which exclusively represents some 40 carefully selected wineries. The company has three brick-and-mortar shops in Prague and one store in Pardubice. Wines can be ordered online at www.prosekarna.cz. ■

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Prosecco does not age well, growing stale with time – it should be drunk as young as possible. Best served chilled, ideally at 8°C and in small flutes, prosecco is a lovely apéritif to enjoy throughout the year, pairing well with nibbles, starters or salads. For a great summer refreshment, pour some of this bubbly over a fruit sorbet.


This lifestyle quarterly magazine focuses on Czech and foreign weddings, celebrations, parties and other formal events.

The new issue comes out on 14 March 2019. CHECK US OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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MILEMAGAZIN

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Art

Geometry of Emotion At this year’s 58th Venice Biennale, the Czech Republic will be represented by artist Stanislav Kolíbal. He will be exhibiting his latest works, as well as older pieces from the 1960s and 70s, in the Czech and Slovak Pavilion. This year, the title of the prestigious event is May You Live in Interesting Times, taken from an ancient Chinese curse referring to periods of crisis and uncertainty. Kolíbal’s unique creations, which explore such themes as time, transience and ephemerality, provide a suitable counterpoint to the ironic subtext of the saying. Today, when critical thinking has all but disappeared, it resonates even stronger than it may have done a century ago, when first used in a speech by British statesman Sir Austen Chamberlain.

text: Hana Janišová photos: Martin Polák article partner: National Gallery Prague

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Previous page: Wings, 1963 Left: At a Given Moment, 1968, and Labil, 1964 Above: What Used to Be an Edge, 1968 Right: Three Ways, 1968

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Right: Fall, 1967, and Disappearing Shape, 1967

Walking from the Vyšehrad metro station toward the ancient fortress, you pass a tall, contoured wall, almost entirely covered in crude graffiti. Few passers-by realise that the wall is actually a sculpture by Stanislav Kolíbal. Supporting the Nusle Bridge, this wall was originally supposed to feature a relief depicting a happy family, socialist style. Instead, Kolíbal managed to persuade the authorities to allow him to create a 111-metre-long concrete monolith comprising of two sloping blocks connected by raised concrete elements. Architecture and space have always been the focus of Kolíbal’s work. He studied applied graphics at the Academy of Applied Arts and stage design at the Academy of Performing Arts, both in Prague. He participated in designing and decorating the Czechoslovak Embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens, London – the abstract reliefs he created on its outer walls seem to lighten the heavy, brutalist structure. In 1971, the new Embassy won a prestigious award from the Royal Institute of British Architects for being the best building designed by a foreign architect. In 1967, Kolíbal’s works were chosen for the 5th edition of the Sculpture from Twenty Nations exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York. He also exhibited in Toronto, Montreal, Tokyo, and Rome. Sadly, this tour de force of world galleries was cut short by the communist government in 1973, after the tremendous success of his solo exhibition in Milan. Kolíbal was forbidden to show and sell his works abroad until 1980, and from 1970 to 1988 he wasn’t allowed to exhibit any works in Czechoslovakia at all. Over time, Kolíbal shifted his focus to conceptual art and created art installations in his studio using string or thread instead of the drawn line. In 1988, Kolíbal was awarded a fellowship in West Berlin, which became a springboard for the next phase of his artistic career. There he created the Berlin Cycle, a set of more than 100 pencil and charcoal drawings featuring geometrical designs. Kolíbal continued to develop the concept of blackand-white reliefs in many later sets of drawings, including a 10-metre-long drawing and a wrought-iron object of 5 × 3 metres, which will decorate the entrance to the pavilion in Venice. “I was born in a mining colony in Orlová. It was a dirty, miserable, rough place. But every morning I woke up staring at the ceiling. It was so white that it stood in stark contrast to everything else in my life. That’s why I am so fond of the colour white. It was as far from my everyday reality as it’s possible to be,” explains Kolíbal. His works have still not received the attention and academic interest they deserve. But perhaps this will change after the publication of an extensive catalogue of his work, which has been produced by curator Dieter Bogner to accompany the exhibition project Former Uncertain Anticipated, organised by the National Gallery Prague for Venice Biennale 2019. ■

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Once Upon a Time

Home to Kings and Prisoners Everyone has an idea of what a castle is like: a huge stone edifice, preferably on a hill, built centuries ago by a king or nobleman. Some people find castles enchanting and romantic, others see them as monuments of power. Castles abound in Czechia: hundreds have been preserved and most of these are open to the public, regardless of whether they’re now in private hands or owned by the State. Castles are a testament to the tastes and needs of their owners over the ages, and to the craftsmanship of those who built them. In each of our issues this year, Soffa will be bringing you impressive reminders of Czechia’s rich history. By way of texts and beautiful photos, these offer a glimpse of the country’s glorious past. This new Once Upon a Time section opens with Loket, one of our oldest stone castles.

text: Helena Stiessová photos: Lina Németh

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Once Upon a Time

Right: Loket Castle: ‘a work of art in the open air’, covered in a light sprinkling of January snow. This is one of the few Czech castles open to visitors all year round. Take advantage and visit before tourist season: you will be able to enjoy its poetic atmosphere without having to queue to enter. The castle walls feature fine Gothic murals.

“Loket is a castle positioned so beautifully that it defies description. It can be admired from all sides, like a work of art in the open air,” wrote Johann Wolfgang Goethe in July 1807. More than two centuries later, the castle still towers majestically over the surrounding woodland and is just as worthy of admiration. Here we explore the setting in which Emperor Charles IV used to ride his horse, and where the world’s oldest known meteorite once landed. The river Ohře runs through the geologically diverse landscape along the northwestern border of Czechia. On its way, it meanders around a granite rock formation on top of which sits Loket Castle, overlooking a tiny town of the same name. The castle allegedly refers to the bend in the river, so sharp it resembles an elbow (loket). Its foundations date back to the 12th century, when the first Romanesque structures were built. The 26-metre-high tower that dominates the castle, along with a small rotunda in its northern section, are partially preserved to this day. Loket was built as a royal castle and served the strategic purpose of protecting the King’s interests against those of his greedy neighbours. This earned it the proud nickname of Key to the Kingdom of Bohemia. Czech kings successfully utilised the castle as a military outpost, continually reconstructing and expanding it over time. A small settlement was established below the structure that – thanks to the privileges afforded a King – slowly grew into a respectable town and served as a stop along numerous trade routes. For one of the most renowned Czech monarchs, Emperor Charles IV, however, Loket Castle held some very unpleasant memories. As a three-year-old boy, his father, King John of Bohemia, had him imprisoned in the vaults. Despite this, though, Charles IV frequently returned to Loket as an adult. In fact, it was during one of his hunting trips in the surrounding forest that his retinue happened upon the hot springs that would later give rise to the famous spa town of Karlovy Vary. At the end of the Hussite Wars, King Sigismund pledged Loket to his chancellor, Kašpar Šlik, and as a result the castle remained in the hands of the Šlik family until 1547. Then, in 1562, King Ferdinand I leased the castle for

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Left: Loket Castle stopped being used as a prison in 1949 and opened its doors to the public. From the 1970s until 1992 it had to close down due to being in considerable disrepair. Renovations began once the castle was returned to the town of Loket, and are still going on. Some of the internal halls now feature wooden ceilings with polychromic paintings, salvaged from various townhouses in the city of Most. These fit very well with the 19th-century painted chests and cabinets from the castle’s collection.


Home to Kings and Prisoners

Left: The town of Loket, situated in the bend of the Ohře River, has managed to retain much of its quaint ambience and remains a popular destination in northern Bohemia. Take a walk around the city walls, visit the exhibition on book binding at the local library, and have a coffee in the town square – in the same spot the poet Goethe once walked. A scenic route through the woods and beyond the river offers a beautiful vista of the town and the castle.

30,000 thalers to the town of Loket for 30 years. And in the late 16th century, the town bought it from Emperor Rudolf II for nearly three million groschen. As soon as the castle became the town’s property, it was used to house the court, stables, granaries, and mill house. Unfortunately, the Thirty Years’ War and many subsequent military conflicts brought the castle into disrepair. In the late 18th century, it was decided to rebuild it as a prison. After numerous interruptions and financial difficulties, the works were finally completed in 1822. In the process, the castle lost most of its decorative architectural elements and the interior was divided into prison cells, including dank underground dungeons. The prison closed down in 1949, but the castle still retains much of the dreary atmosphere of that period. If you don’t feel up to viewing an unsettlingly chamber of mediaeval torture, visit instead the castle’s museum collections. This includes an exhibition on regional history, some rustic furniture, and the colourful targets used at the local Sharpshooters Club. There’s also a vast collection of antique porcelain, manufactured both in Loket and in other nearby factories. As well as all this, the exhibit includes a precious curiosity – a meteorite, or a part of one, dating back to 1422. No one knows for sure whether it fell into the castle’s courtyard or into the adjacent field. But as one of the oldest known meteorites in the world, it has captured the interest of numerous scientists. For a while, the huge, heavy stone was hidden at the bottom of the well, to protect it against invading Swedish troops. In the 19th century, when scientific research was blossoming, the stone was cut into smaller pieces. These pieces now grace museum collections all over the world. Which is such a pity, as Goethe said, having often visited Loket. According to folktales, the stone is not a meteorite at all but rather the result of the nobleman of the castle, Gerhard von Wüstenfels, being turned into stone as punishment for his cruel treatment of the local peasants. If you are interested in yet more colourful tales, set out for northwestern Bohemia and visit this curious castle perched on a rocky crag looming over the countryside. The trip to Loket and its surroundings is well worth it. ■

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Navigace Design

text: Hana Janišová styling: Janka Murínová article partner: Ikea

Perchance to Dream

Considering that we spend about a third of our life sleeping, the bed is a key piece of furniture in any home. Sleep boosts immunity and stimulates productivity, so the better we sleep the better our waking life can be. Hot on the heels of last year’s launch of the Delaktig modular sofa by designer Tom Dixon, Ikea has introduced the Delaktig modular bed. You can customise the extruded aluminium frame by adding or removing the bedside tables, headboard or lamps, as you please.

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Perchance to Navigace Dream

Delaktig bed frame with two bedside tables, Delaktig armchair with side table and lamp | all by Tom Dixon for Ikea Sanela curtains, Sanela cushion cover, Vistoft flat-woven rug, Malm dresser, Evedal table lamp, Evedal pendant lamp | all Ikea

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Leave your mobile phones and tablets outside the bedroom and enjoy a good night’s sleep!

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Navigace Perchance to Dream

Delaktig bed frame with two bedside tables and rattan headboard, Delaktig armchair with side table and lamp | all by Tom Dixon for Ikea Ă…dum high-pile rug, Ă„ngslilja duvet cover and pillowcase, Fado table lamp in pink, Fransine cushion cover, Sanela curtains | all Ikea

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Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 6

16 6 2019

Industrial Palace, Prague Exhibition Grounds

Photo: Daniel SuĹĄka

www.pq.cz

PQ is organized and funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and realized by Arts and Theatre Institute.

Supported by:

General Partner:

General Media Partner:

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Science

text: Helena StiessovĂĄ images: Military History Institute Prague

The Mighty Flag A flag is the adopted symbol of each nation: a simple banner that embodies the country’s history, eliciting pride and a sense of belonging. Possessing a design deemed beautiful, dignified and easily recognisable, it represents the country internationally and, at the same time, bolsters the courage and determination of its people. All of these factors were taken into account when creating a flag for the newly independent Czechoslovakia. And it proved to be a Herculean feat to conjure a design that would please all the citizens of this new country.

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The Mighty Flag

Left: There are no official guidelines as to the exact shade of the colours in the Czech national flag; traditionally, the red and the blue are bright and intense.

The Czech national flag consists of two wide horizontal bands – white on top, red below, with a blue wedge extending halfway into the rectangle from the left-hand edge. After the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, a committee selected the design from a number of proposals: it reflects the country’s long history and traditions, the colours symbolising the nation’s Slavic roots. The flag remained the same, even after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. But the two fledgling states – Czechia and Slovakia – agreed to adopt separate flags, with the Czechs retaining this one, as if we could not bear to part with it! In its nearly 100 years of existence, the flag has witnessed much turmoil. It has waved above the heads of protesters, covered dead bodies, and accompanied soldiers to war. It has survived the communist era, going forward to guard the restored democratic regime – even though, ironically, it now flies much less frequently than ever before. The flag’s design was conceived by Jaroslav Kursa, an archivist at the Ministry of the Interior. Meant to symbolise Czechoslovakia’s independence as well as all the territories encompassed by the newly established country, it was officially adopted by the National Assembly of Czechoslovakia on 30 March 1920, after extensive and passionate public debates and consultations with experts. The red and white colours are derived from the Czech coat-ofarms, which depicts a silver double-tailed lion on a red background and dates back to the days of King Přemysl Otakar II. Heraldry was immensely important at that time, both as a distinguishing element in battle and a symbol of status, wealth, and territory. Moreover, these colours are also present in the Moravian coat-of-arms, where a red-and-silver chequered eagle feature on a blue background. Over time, royal coats-of-arms transformed into national flags, to symbolise sovereignty. During the uprising against the Austrian imperial government in 1848, the flag of the Czech lands featured red and white horizontal bands, becoming the universally accepted symbol of the Czech nation. In the First World War, Czechs in the foreign legions fought under this red-and-white banner. When the Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence was published in October 1918, the red-and-white flag was hoisted at the house of the country’s future president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. This red-and-white flag represented Czechoslovakia during the first months of its existence. Ships carrying Czech legionnaires from Vladivostok sailed under it, and it flapped on the motorcar that drove the country’s first foreign minister, Edvard Beneš. However, the leaders of the new independent state were keenly aware of its shortcomings: not only did it not include

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Right: Archivist Jaroslav Kursa had an intimate knowledge of heraldry and his designs drew on the historical context. The winning design was subsequently altered by prolonging the blue wedge to the half of the flag’s length.

the country’s second nation, Slovakia, but it was too similar to the flags of its neighbours, Poland and Austria. A committee was therefore established to create new national emblems that would better represent what Czechoslovakia stood for. Archivist Jaroslav Kursa was one of those committee members, but many others submitted proposals too, including renowned artist František Kupka, printmaker and designer Vojtěch Preissig, and painter Jaroslav Jareš. A panel of experts was formed to discuss whether the new flag should adhere to tradition or if a more avant-garde design should be chosen. All agreed, however, that the colour blue should be added – both as an allusion to the Pan-Slavic colours and as a homage to Czechoslovakia’s allies and the victorious Allied Powers. Jaroslav Kursa drafted over 30 different designs, including one with a blue wedge extending one-third of the way into the rectangle. As a traditional Czech heraldic symbol, the triangular form made the Czech flag more distinctive, and also alluded to the trimount [three rounded hills] in the Slovak coat-of-arms. Kursa’s sketches were based on the flag’s exact scale (2:3 ratio). In the end, his carefully thought-out draft garnered more support than the other, more artistic proposals. Before the new flag could be approved, practical testing was required, as a flag waving on a mast looks different than a drawing on paper. Initially, the new flag was to be hoisted on the stage of the National Theatre (with a fan blowing), but the employees of the theatre weren’t willing to work overtime. So instead, the flag was sent sailing along the river Vltava on two steamers, for everyone to see. And it passed the test, proving very effective visually. Kursa’s draft design was thereby approved, even though supporters of Preissig’s ‘American version’ were very vocal about their disagreement and many called for a public bid for proposals. A minor adjustment was adopted at the suggestion of painter František Kysela, such that the apex of the blue triangle extends to the halfway point on the vertical axis. After some initial reservations, the flag managed to capture the hearts of the citizens. Next year marks its centennial. ■ Flag Etiquette: How to properly hoist the Czech Flag Czech legislation authorises anyone to use the Czech national flag at any time, provided they do so in a dignified, appropriate manner. Many people, however, raise the flag incorrectly. When positioned horizontally, the white band should be on top and the blue wedge on the left-hand side. Arranged vertically, the white band should be on the left, with the wedge pointing downwards. When the flag is raised on a flagpole, the red band should be closer to the wall of the building, whether the flagpole is vertical or at an angle. The flag’s place when among other flags is in the centre, or just to the left of centre.

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Vexillology, one of the auxiliary sciences of history, is the study of history and symbolism of flags, and also of designing new flags. Many thanks to members of the Czech Vexillological Society for their input and final revision of the article. | www.vexilologie.cz


The Mighty Flag

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Science

There are no official guidelines as to the exact shade of the colours in the Czech national flag; traditionally, the red and the blue are bright and intense.

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NASTASSIA ALEINIKAVA, GRAND DESIGNER 2017 FOTO: VÁCLAV JIRÁSEK

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Czech Grand Design Awards 2018

Design Fashion design Jewelry design Graphic design Illustration Photography

SUPPORTING INSTITUTIONS: Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, The City of Prague, Czech Centres, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague; OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS: HM, Excelent, Parfumerie Douglas, TONI&GUY; MEDIA PARTNERS: Architect+, art+antiques, Český rozhlas Dvojka, dolcevita.cz, elle.cz, ELLE Decoration, ERA21, Flash Art, H.O.M.i.E., Marianne Bydlení, Radio 1, Reflex.cz, SOFFA; ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Acqua Panna, San Pellegrino, Nespresso PARTNERS: Renault, Czech Trade, Vitra, Národní divadlo

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Navigace Travel

Kingdom of the Lost Lion Morocco. Hot sun, sizzling sands, busy markets as far as the eye can see. Hand-woven carpets, colourful spices, the intoxicating scent of mint, citrus fruit, and roses. Deep green forests, endless olive groves, snow-covered mountains, hot springs, and villages keen on preserving ancient traditions: Morocco’s geographical location, rich culture, and convoluted history make it a country that will never cease to surprise. Photographer and traveller Tomáš Slavík is our guide here, taking us through this nation of lions, sardines, and argan oil.

text: Patrik Florián photos: Tomáš Slavík, www.tomasslavik.cz

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This spread and previous pages: The city of Chefchaouen is located in the northwest, at the foothills of the Rif Mountains. The earliest settlement was established in the late 15th century, as a fortress for fighting off Portuguese invaders. In mediaeval times, many Muslims and Jews settled here after the Spanish Reconquista, and the city once again became a refuge for Jews from the south of Europe during the Second World War. Chefchaouen is especially popular among travellers for its blue-painted buildings, which have earned it the nickname The Blue Pearl. There are several theories as to why the walls were painted this colour – some say that it is because blue symbolises the sky and heavens, reminding people to lead a more spiritual life; others claim the reason is purely practical, since blue keeps mosquitoes away.

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Morocco is not all desert; forests cover about 12 percent of the country. The Middle Atlas mountain range is covered in primeval cedar forests. The Cèdre Gouraud Forest is home to the Barbary macaque, which also happens to be the only monkey existing in Europe (a small population lives in Gibraltar). Despite huge conservation efforts, Moroccan fauna and flora have suffered considerably over the past years.

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Above: Produce and items of everyday use are sold at markets known as souks. Haggling is common practice: with enough persistence, an experienced haggler will manage to get the price knocked down by as much as two-thirds.

From the southernmost outposts of Spain or the lighthouse on the rocks of Gibraltar, the African continent is clearly visible: the shores of Morocco are only some fifteen kilometres away. Two Spanish enclaves near the country’s northern border – Ceuta and Melilla – make Europe and Morocco near neighbours. The two towns are the last vestiges of French/Spanish rule. In 1956 the country regained its independence, establishing itself as a constitutional monarchy with Mohammed V as king. His grandson, Mohammed VI, is currently the ruling monarch, sharing some of his executive and legislative power with the Prime Minister. Morocco borders Algeria in the east, and Western Sahara in the south, the latter being a territory Morocco partially occupies and claims as its own. Approximately one-fifth of the country, however, is currently controlled by the liberation movement known as the Polisario Front, which has been battling since 1976 to establish Morocco as an independent democratic

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Tourists are often surprised by the cleanliness of Moroccan towns: there’s not a single piece of rubbish, leftover food, or cigarette butt in sight. Shopkeepers regularly sweep the pavements outside their stores and spray the dry roads to prevent the dust from stirring.

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Cannabis is grown in most of the Rif region. Marijuana and hashish have been cultivated, produced, and utilised in Morocco for centuries, and the nationwide ban on narcotics has done nothing to undermine that tradition. It is an open secret that Morocco’s economy depends on cannabis exports to Europe, which adds to its attraction as a tourist destination.

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This spread: Mountain villages and desert oases are home to the Berbers, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. They live in small, often inaccessible communities, speak their own unique language and maintain ancient customs.

republic. The United Nations is not entirely clear on Western Sahara’s status: the region recognises neither Moroccan sovereignty or the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic established by the Polisario. The international community considers it a non-autonomous territory, and the current truce is tenuous at best.

In a Berber village you can observe traditional arts and crafts; taste spicy dishes; and wrap a ten-metre-long scarf round your head to protect you against the sharp wind before mounting a camel and setting out to explore the surrounding sand dunes. Afterwards, you can simply enjoy the starry skies, amazing silence, and rolling sands as far as the eye can see.

Morocco’s climate is greatly affected by its location amid the Sahara, the Atlas Mountains, and the Atlantic coast. The northwestern part of the country has a decidedly Mediterranean climate, lush forests and moderate temperatures. Morocco’s most prominent mountain range, the High Atlas, stretches across the entire central region, all the way to Algeria and Tunisia. Its tallest peak is the Toubkal, at 4,167 metres. Except during winter months, it’s fairly easy to climb. The name Atlas derives from ancient Greek mythology: Atlas was a Titan who held the entire celestial heavens on his shoulders. His punishment was briefly alleviated by the hero Heracles, who

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Morocco is a country of distinct contrasts. Coastal areas boast resorts that could just as easily be in Florida; on the other side of the country, the parched landscape conceals underground adobe houses. And at the confluence of the mountain rivers, palm tree groves and plantations flourish.

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Feeling a bit peckish? Just follow your nose. Food is often prepared in the street, with neighbours and passers-by happily stopping to savour freshly baked bread or roasted meat.

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Right: Morocco has over 100 thermal springs offering healing properties. After a lengthy trek with a heavy backpack, you will be overjoyed to find one.

sent him to fetch golden apples from the goddess Hera’s garden. Some of the oldest cave paintings, dating back to the Neolithic Age, have been found in the caves of the High Atlas – a testament to the region’s long and elaborate history. The territory defining today’s Morocco was first settled by the Phoenicians, followed by the Roman Empire, the Muslim Arabs, and then by the Spanish and Portuguese during the age of great sea voyages. To this day, the country remains an extremely attractive travel destination, thanks to its charm and its many contrasts. Alleyways between the ancient, dilapidated adobe houses are kept meticulously clean. And even in the poorest mountain village, the locals will gladly share a piece of khubz flatbread with you. Other staples of Moroccan cuisine include couscous, tajine, and kefta. Mint tea is offered on literally every street corner – its preparation is a very involved affair, usually entrusted to men. The recipe combines green gunpowder tea, fresh spearmint leaves, and sugar. “The first glass is as gentle as life, the second as strong as love, the third as bitter as death,” claims a Maghrebi proverb. Religion and tradition play a very important role in Moroccan society. As a visitor, respect and humility toward the local culture will always earn you a warm welcome. Interestingly enough, the liver, not the heart, is considered the symbol of love in Morocco, and white is the colour of mourning. The royal coat-of-arms features two majestic Barbary lions. The lion is Morocco’s national animal, unfortunately now extinct in the region – the last one was shot in the wild in 1922. Even so, Morocco’s abundant fauna and flora offer a lot for travellers to admire. ■ The indigenous Berbers, a nomadic tribe often found in remote mountain or desert regions, have managed to preserve much of their culture and arts & crafts. In keeping with the theme of our issue, we are displaying a sample of tifinagh, the ancient script used in writing the Berber dialect known as tamasheq. Those of you who manage to read and translate the symbols will receive a reward!

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With such a varied landscape, Morocco’s weather patterns are diverse. In the mountains, extremely high temperatures can quickly drop below freezing. Make sure you have proper gear and sufficient information before setting out on a mountain hike.

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2. Morgiana This decadent 1972 Gothic horror movie was directed by Juraj Herz. Actress Iva Janžurová brilliantly portrays the double role of two sisters: the beautiful and naïve Klara and the ugly, demonic Viktoria. Wonderful Art Nouveau costumes and makeup contribute to the film’s dark beauty, which earned it the Gold Hugo Award at the 1972 Chicago Film Festival.

text: Patrik Florián and Hana Janišová photos: Soffa and Vitra Design Museum Archives

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The Vitra Design Museum marks the centennial anniversary of the legendary Bauhaus movement this year, with an exhibition dedicated to Anton Lorenz. The Hungarian designer became famous in the first half of the 20th century for his tubular steel furniture, his many patents and inventions, and his phenomenal entrepreneurial skills. Apart from Lorenz’s rounded chairs and recliners, the exhibition includes furniture by such renowned designers as Marcel Breuer, Mart Stam, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. 22 January – 05 May 2019, Vitra Schaudepot, Weil am Rhein

3. Nikola Klímová (ed.), SNKLHU / Odeon 1953–1994 During the communist regime, the Odeon Publishing House was known to have the best foreign fiction editions, superb in both content and form. Many excellent artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and typographers contributed to the quality of its publications. With their timeless design, compliments of such masters as Vladimír Nárožník, Oldřich Hlavsa, Libor Fára, and František Muzika, Odeon’s books became pieces of art in their own right. Here the editor presents 340 book covers, each demonstrating the creator’s distinctive and inspiring approach to book design. Published by the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, 2016

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1. Anton Lorenz: From Avant-Garde to Industry


Soffa in Digital Format We’ve teamed up with issuu.com, so you can now preview, buy, and read Soffa on any device. www.issuu.com/soffamag


EDITORIAL STAFF Adéla Lipár Kudrnová | editor in chief adela@soffamag.com Róbert Kováč | art director robert@soffamag.com Helena Stiessová | managing editor helena.s@soffamag.com Hana Janišová | editor hana@soffamag.com Patrik Florián | editor & fashion stylist patrik@soffamag.com Albert Němec | production manager albert@soffamag.com Janka Murínová | designer & stylist jana@soffamag.com Adéla Havelková | photographer adela.h@soffamag.com Lina Németh | photographer lina@soffamag.com Terézia Bělčáková | sales manager terezia@soffamag.com Lucie Vytlačilová | sales manager lucie@soffamag.com Dita Loudilová | event manager dita@soffamag.com

TRANSLATION Lucie Mikolajková lucie.mikolajkova@gmail.com

CONTRIBUTORS Veronika Rút Nováková | writer Jean-Claude Etegnot | photographer Jiří Královec | photographer Martin Polák | photographer Tomáš Slavík | photographer Attilio Solzi | photographer Tereza Otáhalíková | illustrator Jan Šrámek | illustrattor Sylva Pauli | graphic artist Veronika Benáčková | make-up artist Tereza Vávrová | hair artist PUBLISHER Soffa, s. r. o. Špálova 444/6 162 00 Praha 6 – Střešovice www.soffamag.com IČ: 03055671 / DIČ: CZ03055671 © Soffa, s. r. o., 2019 | All rights reserved www.soffamag.com | info@soffamag.com Cover photo: Martin Polák DISTRIBUTION Interested in becoming a Soffa distributor? Email us at stockist@soffamag.com . SUBSCRIPTION MANAGED BY SEND předplatné, spol. s r. o. Ve Žlíbku 1800/77, hala A3, Praha 9 tel. +420 225 985 225, soffa@send.cz

COPY EDITING Jodie Hruby jkhruby@gmail.com

PRINT H.R.G., spol. s r. o. Svitavská 1203, 570 01 Litomyšl

Registration: MK ČR E 21947, ISSN 2336-5943 Volume 31 published on 21 February 2019

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Soffa 31 / SYMBOLS, English edition  

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